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4.5 out of 5 stars21
4.5 out of 5 stars
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This was Ruth Ozeki's second novel, first published in 2003, and as I thoroughly enjoyed A Tale for the Time Being I thought I would give it a go. This is exquisitely crafted and the main plot takes place in 1999, although it does describe some events that happened for instance in 1974.

In Liberty Falls, Idaho, Lloyd Fuller is seriously ill and needs constant attention as does his wife Momoko, who is seemingly suffering with Alzheimer's. At the next farm along live Cass with her husband, and she manages to track down the Fuller's daughter, Yumi, otherwise known as Yummy.

Cass was Yumi's friend from when she was younger, but no one has actually seen Yumi since she ran away from home in 1974, aged just fourteen. As Yumi makes her way home to the Fuller house a bunch of eco-activists are also getting ready to converge on the house, as they have taken to Lloyd, and think of him as a guru. Yumi has brought her three children with her, and the activists are out to educate people on how potatoes are being genetically modified. With Elliot, the former lover of Yumi also coming into the area, there is a lot happening in this story.

We have a lot to ponder within these pages, what with the questions surrounding genetic modification to food, and on top of that the relationships between family and friends. Yumi is only coming to visit, but as you will see, her stay is slightly longer than anticipated. This could have been very stiff and quite boring, but instead Ruth Ozeki has crafted something that is very thoughtful, quite comedic in places, and also sometimes sad. In all this is an exquisite book to read, showing life from start to finish, both from a human perspective, and also from that of a seed. This isn't a quick read and is something that you can really indulge in and enjoy, especially as for instance Yumi is very dysfunctional. For a book group this would make a perfect choice, simply as there is so much to discuss.

If you are looking for something that is both thoughtful and serious, but also showing the funny side of life as well, this could be just what you are looking for; it is a real pleasure to read.
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VINE VOICEon 22 September 2014
'All Over Creation' is Ozeki's second novel and unfolds over the potato farming lands of Idaho, USA in the late 90's. At the Fuller farm Yumi Fuller is the prodigal daughter returned to take the reigns on her parents potato harvest. Joining her are her three kids who flit in and out of periphery and her parents both battling with illnesses and nearing the end of their lives.

Creation, though, is not necessarily a tale or study of family life and dynamics - it is the potato that is at the forefront of debate. Alongside Yumi's narrative we have a bunch of kids fighting to spread the word of genetically modified crops and their detrimental effects on American's health. The kids eventually park up there camper van on the driveway of the Fuller farm and attempt a collaboration against large chemical companies.

Unfortunately, for me, the whole book became more of a leaflet on GM crops as opposed to a novel about family life that I was expecting. Having recently read and enjoyed Ozeki's 'A Tale for the Time Being' I was hoping for more of the same here with her earlier work; however that was not the case. If food conglomerates, farming, eco-fuel and the like are interesting to you then you might have fun here, however you'll have to get through an average narrative and story to get to the facts.
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on 17 May 2010
I read My year of meat as it first came out and I really liked it. I am very happy that Ruth Ozeki has written another book.
All over creation has most of the same themes as her last book: nature, farming, industry vs tradition, barenness and childlessness. If you liked her first book, you will like this one as well, her writing has not lost quality over the years.
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on 20 May 2013
As a reader who is absorbed by the style of writing over and above the story line, I will not give you a plot synopsis. I will however tell you that this is a delight - it is a flawless depiction of emotion, hope and the power of believing. I read this tale on my kindle, then bought a 'real' book, because I wanted to be able to see it on my book shelves. If you need to read novels which have a message, which give you pause to let the world go by whilst you are somewhere better, this one is for you, it is just wonderful.
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on 30 March 2015
I came to this having loved "A tale for the Time Being". The plot is centered among the potato farmers of Idaho, where Lloyd is expected to die soon and his wife Momoko is loosing chunks of her memory. His daughter, Yummi, is traced by her childhood best friend, and returns to the home farm which she ran away from at the age of 14. She brings with her 3 children from different fathers. Add to this a group of eco-activists, single parenting, childlessness,GM food crops, small town suspicions and Ozeki's fine writing, and you have a good read.

There is tragedy and comedy between the pages. It makes you think about what you are eating and about how much you are told about your food., Although not as good as "A tale for the Time Being", I really enjoyed this book and carried the characters with me for some time after finishing.
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on 23 June 2014
I enjoyed this book and kept picking it up to read a bit more. The characterisataion is good and the author creeated for me various emotions, anger with Elliot for being so selfish, sympathy for Yumi at first but then annoyance as she took advantage of Cassie further on in the book.I liked the different characters in the 'hippie' group and could empathsise with each one in a different way.

Well written and probably might read again at some time.
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on 21 December 2013
Another clever novel from Ruth Ozeki. I am now waiting with interest for her next. Makes serious points with wit and compassion.
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on 23 June 2014
I just finished reading Before you go ..... and for once decided to write a review. This is a wonderful book that works at many levels. The narrative is clean and purposeful and the elements of the story work so well together. It's light and deep all at the same time .... I've fallen in love with Ruth Ozeki's work ..... give it a try ..... I hope you do too.
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on 19 July 2014
Stunning ! A gentle breeze of a novel whispering of things unseen and unknown and set in a magical and timeless island off the Pacific coast of Canada.
Ruth Ozeki blends her Eastern heritage into our 21st century cynical age and creates a little masterpiece which lingers long after you have closed the final page.
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on 13 January 2014
I found this novel unique and mind stretching in what organisations are able to construct in plant genetics. I was not sure as to whether any of these things had actually been trialled in America but it makes you want to look closely at labelling and hope that it is honest.
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