This book is like pistachio ice-cream for me: the fist half is very pleasant, but the aftertaste, the second half of that specific portion which I'm eating is..disagreeable.
Ruth's part is the second half.
First of all let's start from the chocolate chips on the biscuit: prettier things like Nao's part.
"Gentlemen, you had my curiosity. But now you have my attention." That's the case:
- Asian world has been fascinating me for these last years. Surely I have to thank a dear friend of mine, who studies Japanese at the university, that hands this fascination down to me. Nao carries with her Japanese culture pretty much in every page. So..
- Reading her has been interesting and pleasing. She is a nice character and Ozeki's way to let her expressing herself in this sincere, almost breezy way is a winning move. I don't think that the continuous infiltration of japanese terms was annoying. Yes, it's clear a instructive intention by Ozeki, but I didn't feel it as a fake element for a teenager's diary. I mean, let's only think about the typical otaku teen. This way of talking is not so far from reality.
- I've liked very much how the entire book was built on interactions: the more important one, the interaction between Nao and Ruth, although I didn't like so much the way in which Ozeki was trying to tell us that Ruth has discovered several things about herself thanks to Nao's diary. But I will talk about that famous second half's lacks later. The interaction between old and new: for example seeing how Jiko learned to text with Nao and Nao learned from buddhist culture was adorable.
- I liked too the developping relationship between Nao and her father, from the beginning to the end. Well, Ozeki has taken out a winning move specifically for me: I have a fondness for father-daughter relationship in novels and movies. I've liked their silent way of being together: Haruki reading philosophical essays and Nao being near him. I've liked generally their hard path [spoiler] toward reconciliation. [/spoiler]
- Haruki #1 deserves a specific point for himself only. He's great: but if we consider my philosophical soul, what are the chances of a victorious collision? ;)
Now...Ruth's part..Here lack all good intentions not realized appropriately. Her part is swamped with informational aims, so much that in the long term a more personal and intimate space is not given or in very reduced parts. I was surprised by the absence of physical signes of affection and love between Oliver and Ruth, even if they worry about each other. They never exchange a hug or a kiss. The narration was so focused upon Nao's diary that Oliver and Ruth were more similar to two colleagues on a project than an happy married couple.
Even Ruth increasing her awareness has been developped a bit supeficially. I mean, yes, her attachment to Nao has been thoroughly communicated (..!), but her personal elaboration of Nao's words never involved decisively her personal background. It was more like reflecting on an external subject, not directly her life.
Maybe I'm making a blunder, but this is how I perceived this specific part.
Generally it was something very similar to a cold side of a book that demonstrated warmer angles.