Summer Book Challenge Book #1


I finally made it through my first book on my summer reading list. It turns out finding time to read is not so easy with a two year old. Since I have been reading mostly non-fiction this past year, I decided to change it up and start my summer reading list with a piece of fiction A Tale for the Time Being: A Novel. This novel, a story about suicide, teenage angst, family, Zen Buddhism, time-travel and quantum physics, is not exactly a light beach read, but definitely intriguing. The story starts off with a Japanese-American writer "Ruth" living on an island in the Pacific Northwest finding a diary and watch washed up on the beach in a Hello Kitty lunchbox. She begins to read the diary of a Japanese teenager "Nao" and quickly becomes absorbed into her story and becomes obsessed with knowing where Nao exists today and perhaps preventing an ill-fate to Nao. Without giving away too much of the story, Nao grew up with her family in Silicon valley until her father was laid off after the bubble, leading her family to move back to Tokyo. After moving back to Tokyo Nao is subjected to brutal bullying and isolation at school, while at home dealing with her suicidal and deeply depressed father. After a year of misery at school her parents send her to spend the summer with her 104 year old Buddhist monk great-grandmother where Nao discovers her family history and the art of zazen. I found some of this book hard to read, which I now realize may be because my family went through a move when I was 12, and I felt I was reliving a lot of the emotions through this book. Although parts of the book are macabre, the story is beautiful, thought-provoking, and sweet. If you've read it comment below.
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