It was a tense situation at the Bellini table as the final votes were tallied for March’s book. What was it going to be? 3 votes for Ruth Ozeki, 3 for Celeste Ng, and one vote to be cast.
In the end, I gave up my vote and asked Sophia to make the final decision (since she was the only one of the group who had voted differently)
The final decision was A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki.
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013
‘Hi! My name is Nao, and I am a time being. Do you know what a time being is? Well, if you give me a moment, I will tell you.’
Ruth discovers a Hello Kitty lunchbox washed up on the shore of her beach home. Within it lies a diary that expresses the hopes and dreams of a young girl. She suspects it might have arrived on a drift of debris from the 2011 tsunami. With every turn of the page, she is sucked deeper into an enchanting mystery.
In a small cafe in Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao Yasutani is navigating the challenges thrown up by modern life. In the face of cyberbullying, the mysteries of a 104-year-old Buddhist nun and great-grandmother, and the joy and heartbreak of family, Nao is trying to find her own place – and voice – through a diary she hopes will find a reader and friend who finally understands her.
Weaving across continents and decades, and exploring the relationship between reader and writer, fact and fiction, A Tale for the Time Being is an extraordinary novel about our shared humanity and the search for home.
A doodle for the next meeting (my last until I’m back from Africa!!) is now up. please let me know if you can make it.