An Ocean, A Journal, “A Tale For The Time Being”

th“A Tale For The Time Being” was split between the lives of Ruth, living in Canada, and Nao, living in Asia. The book tells of Nao’s life through her journal that Ruth finds on the beach. Nao’s stories ranged from really interesting (her father pretending to have a job, then failing in his attempt to commit suicide) to really odd (descriptions of random people and childlike observation). The dialogues between Ruth and her husband were excruciatingly boring. The topic of migrating crows and water flow reminded me of the chapter in “The Grapes Of Wrath” that was devoted to a turtle. While I understood the relevance of discussing how water flows to Canada as an explanation of how Nao’s journal lands on the beach, this part of the novel became unbearable to read. Maybe there was supposed to be some deeper symbolism here, but to me this just seemed absurd. It was at this point I realized I liked less than half the book and had to stop reading.


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