On Books: 'All Over Creation' By Ruth Ozeki
Now that fall has finally arrived in Berlin and harvest season is in full swing, Ruth Ozeki's All Over Creation seems to fit the mood just right. In the center of the story novel is Yumi, who returns to her parents' potato farm in Idaho – the heart of the industry.
Yumi Fuller has not been home to Liberty Falls since she ran away at age fourteen. She left in the middle of a scandal, after an affair with her ninth-grade teacher. Now her father is dying and her Japanese-American mother suffers from Alzheimer. She decides to leave Hawaii, where she works as an English professor, so that her three children can meet their grandfather for the first and last time. Back in Idaho, much has changed: traditional farming has turned to agribusiness. The local farmers are confronted by a group of activists who protest bioengineered food. Personal drama is not far, either. Yumi finds herself caught between her estranged parents, her former best friend and the potato harvest.
More than ten years after its original publication, All Over Creation still raises questions about modern day farming practices. The matter of genetically modified food is more relevant than ever and the book offers an interesting perspective with its many curious characters. Above all, is a story about the patience in growing things and the beauty of harvesting. That accounts for plants and friendships alike.