A Tale for the Time Being: Ending

I really enjoyed the bit of magical realism included in the ending. Although we do not find out what actually happened to Nao, we get the sense of chance or hopefullness that one day Nao and Ruth could be further connected. Nao goes on to say, “[s]till, I feel like I would recognize you if I passed you on the street or caught your eyes at Starbucks. How weird is that? … You may be only make-believe, but you are my true friend and you’ve helped me. I really mean that” (385).

Nao, in my opinion, was not writing for anyone specific. Nao was writing for her grandmother, but more importantly, she was writing for herself. By writing, she was able to ease her situation and feel “helped.” Nao did not want to live a life unfulfilled by her terms, and through writing about Jiko’s story, she was able to not let Jiko down. Nao’s passages conclude with her transition from being scared to die to being scared to die without letting the story of Jiko out. Nao is “actually worried about dying like a normal person.” I imagine this normal person being unfulfilled or unsatisfied with the outcome of his or her life.

I would of liked to know the outcome of Nao’s life, however, the idea of not knowing feels equally satisfying. Seeing how unbearable Nao’s life was throughout the novel made me want to see her connect with Ruth, as I am sure Ruth wanted the same. On the other hand, I think the ending being left to the “reader” is perfect. The reader is left to workout it our on his or her own time. The book ends, so does Nao’s life end or is there hope for Nao and Ruth to be connected, as Nao says she would recognize the receiver of the diary.


The End? Maybe?

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