I can see why Ruth Ozeki’s “The Book of Form and Emptiness” made it to the Booker Prize shortlist. It’s wonderful.
Don’t be put off by the c.550 pages of the paperback version as I nearly was; the novel rewards reading. And persistence isn’t really needed as the story keeps up a good pace throughout.
One of the things I liked most is how Ozeki blends a tightly woven and emotionally charged story with an almost philosophical layer which adds depth for the reader. As you make you way through it, you are captivated not just by the novel, Benny and Annabelle’s story, those of the interrelated characters, but by the book itself. A real presence, it forces you to consider what books are ‘for’, their purpose, how you interact with them.
Something of a joy.