** A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

Ruth Ozeki is back with A Tale for the Time Being, another very different novel, with the supremely fussy premise of a Canadian writer (named Ruth, subtle, huh?) finding the diary of a Japanese teenager on the beach, together with family letters in Japanese and in French that tell a tragic family tale — said diary becoming entwined into the novel the writer has been working on and the very life of the writer. Still with me?

So it is a fussy setup, and it took me several dozen pages to dive into it, but the result is a tender story of great-grandmotherly love, with an overly large helping of footnotes and didactic information about Japan perhaps but still a captivating family story in a very different voice.


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