A Tale for the Time Being Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 71 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Tale for the Time Being.
This section contains 361 words
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A Tale for the Time Being Summary & Study Guide Description

A Tale for the Time Being Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on A Tale for the Time Being by .

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki is a story of a sixteen year-old girl in Japan named Nao and a writer in Canada named Ruth who are connected through a diary. Ruth finds Nao’s diary when she is walking along a beach on her remote Canadian island. She believes it to be part of the debris from the tsunami of 2011. She sets out to prove her suspicions. Her husband and others tell her that they are too far inland for the debris and it is too early to be reaching them.

Nao writes of how her family returned to Japan after years in America. Nao only remembers living in America; so, she is disconnected from the Japanese culture. She is bullied by her classmates because she is different. She feels out of place and is contemplating suicide. Her father makes several attempts to kill himself. In the Japanese culture suicide is considered an honorable way to die.

Ruth reads Nao’s diary at first as a distraction from the memoir she is writing that is not going well. She gets caught up in Nao’s story and becomes worried about her. She attempts to find any proof that Nao and her family actually exist. Ruth gets so caught up in the story that time merges. She does not remember that Nao’s story is not unfolding right now. It happened several years ago. She feels an urgent need to help Nao, but Ruth is reading is Nao’s past.

Nao’s diary is supposed to tell the story of her great grandmother who was a Buddhist nun, feminist, and poet. However, the diary focuses on Nao and her father as they struggle to deal with the harsh reality of their lives in Japan. Ruth feels for this young girl and strives to learn more than what is written within the pages of the diary. This quest leads her to learn more about herself and her mother. The story slips between time and connects the two writers and gives them both the strength to control their fears and begin to enjoy their lives again.

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This section contains 361 words
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Buy the A Tale for the Time Being Study Guide
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