“Life is fleeting. Don’t waste a single moment of your precious life. Wake up now! And now! And now!”
This book. I’ve been mesmerized by it since reading it. I’m completely fascinated by the amount of invention in the idea of this book and the amount of vividness in the way it was executed.
Ruth Ozeki essentially wrote herself as a character, interacting with another character she invented. Oftentimes, this book hardly feels like a work or fiction and you genuinely feel like you’re with Ruth, reading the discovered diary of Naoko in Japan. It feels like all this is happening just off of Vancouver Island in real time, as you read, which is quite a feat. There are more magical elements like disappearing pages, alternate futures, ghosts and superpowers, and yet it still feels realer than some biographies I’ve read.
The character voices in this book were so vivid and likeable. There are some horrific moments, but also coming to terms. This book straddles between timelines, fiction and nonfiction, magical realism and naturalism, darkness and light so quickly. Overcoming duality seems to be at the center of these stories and they accomplish their goal. There are some heavy themes in here, but if you like fiction that provokes some thought, I can’t recommend this enough.