Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dear Great Book Guru,

Last Sunday, I was at a wonderful lecture sponsored by the Sea Cliff Museum on the Rye Cliff Ferry fire of 1918. The speaker Glenn Williams made that day come brutally alive and Museum Director Sara Reres gave an enlightening introduction to Sea Cliff's love affair with the steamship. At the reception afterwards, I overheard a group of women discussing an upcoming book club selection- EVERY LAST ONE. They seemed visibly shaken by the book. Do you know this book and would you recommend it? Sea Cliff Museum Fan

Dear Museum Fan, How right you are! The Museum's Rye Cliff exhibit adds so much to our knowledge of Sea Cliff's past and present- apparently pieces of the boat still wash to shore. Interestingly, Sara Reres was one of the founders of that book club you mentioned- Bagels and Books. It's been meeting once a month for almost twenty years. Back to your question: EVERY LAST ONE by Anna Quindlen is a disturbing book on two levels. The first three quarters is an interesting portrait of middle class family life- preteen twin boys and a teenage girl, ophthalmologist father, and landscaper wife- whose concerns mirror those of so many families: prom dates, soccer cuts, sibling rivalry, drooping hydrangeas… until something happens which changes everything. I kept thinking of the quote" Nothing really matters very much and in the end nothing matters at all." If you have the emotional stamina, read this novel. If not, wait for another week's recommendation.

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