What connects us through time and space is at the heart of A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. It connects the story of a young Japanese girl told through her diary and a Japanese-American novelist reading that diary on the isolated Cortes Island of British Columbia.
Both are outsiders - the girl who wrote the diary spent her formative years in the States so she's culturally more American than Japanese. The novelist is from the big city and living on a remote island.
The book is fantastic for its story and for its glimpses into Japanese culture -- especially Japanese Buddhism. While the majority of it is firmly rooted in realism, near the end more and more magic creeps into the story.
All in all it's a thought provoking and entertaining read that shows we can be connected through time and space - and that can help us survive and thrive.