This book was chosen for me not by me. There is a quaint bookstore down by the shore in Connecticut that convinced me to sign up for a monthly club that sends you a signed 1st edition copy they select for only the price of the hardcover. This sounded like a deal to me and a good way to branch out and read something I might have otherwise left alone. Although Ozeki's novel didn't speak to me the way it did to others, I still feel like RJ Julia will give me something in the future that I'll really like. This book has dozens of readers who LOVED every little word.Moving on... what didn't I like? THE ENDING. This will be very hard to review without giving that away... the ending.Let me start with what I liked about the book. The topics Ozeki brought up in her novel had real depth. I really loved "Nao" the main character in the story within the story. However, I HATED the dynamic between Ruth and her husband. They didn't play nice with one another which made me feel awkward, the kind of awkward you feel when your friend is in a fight with their significant other and you wish you could disappear into the wall before they bring you into it. Okay, I said I would start with what I liked and I went straight into a dislike. This gives you an idea of how I felt reading this. When I liked something in the book, I LOVED it but the same goes for when I didn't like something it turned into an extreme DISLIKE. Now to get into the gritty ending and for this I have to say goodbye to those who haven't read the book. What the heck was up with the crazy explanation to how she ties up the ending to make it clean and happy!?!? I HATED it. I would rather have a sad ending then a crazy one that explained everything vaguely with parallel worlds and quantum mechanics. Oh how I wish I could warn those who read through 350 pages of great story only to have it end in with this. I'm sure there are those out there that weren't bothered by this or maybe even enjoyed it. I'm not one of those. I love Sci-fi, watched every season of Stargate (also has many episodes on quantum mechanics and parallel worlds) BUT the difference being... this book had no place for this. It just didn't fall into place and the explanation was held by such a small thread it broke when I turned the page in the book.The three stars I gave "A Tale for the Time Being" was for Nao and her heartwarming, compelling story that kept me reading for the entire four hundred thirty two pages. I warn you that this is not for everyone (the ending) but at least you'll have a nice journey getting there.