5* (out of 5*)
“Do you think Nao is alive?” Ruth asked. “Hard to say. Is death even possible in a universe of many worlds? Is suicide? For every world in which you kill yourself, there’ll be another in which you don’t, in which you go on living. Many worlds seems to guarantee a kind of immortality . . .” She grew impatient then. “I don’t care about other worlds. I care about this one. I care whether she’s dead or alive in this world. And I want to know how her diary and the rest of the stuff washed up here, on this island.”
Do you know that moment? The one moment when you finish a book and you wish you read it again for the first time?
A Tale for the Time Being is such a book for me. Ironically, I got the book by accident as the online bookseller I placed an order with got mixed up. So, it is fair to say that the book was meant for me, in a similar way that one of the MCs, Ruth, an author (maybe even THE author) based on the coast of British Columbia, finds the diary of a fifteen year old Japanese girl washed up on the coast. From there on, nothing that is or was will be as it once seemed.
I will not describe much of the plot – if you have not read this book, the story will grab you and not let go until the very end (at least). What I can say without spoiling the reading experience, tho, is that I loved, loved, loved all the characters and especially Old Jiko.
She’s the glue that sticks fragments of sanity to that bubble that is our insane world.
I have said this before but this book has bent my mind, like origami, or time.
“The Zen nun Jiko Yasutani once told me in a dream that you can’t understand what it means to be alive on this earth until you understand the time being, and in order to understand the time being, she said, you have to understand what a moment is.”