Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dear Great Book Guru, I was at a great Autumnal Equinox barbecue in Sea Cliff this weekend and two of the partygoers- Justin DiPietro and Jenna Fendt- were discussing a book some of their friends had recommended - it was set in Rome and many of the city's artworks were spotlighted. It was a tricky title but I think the author was Mary Gordon. Do you know the book? Autumnal Celebrant

Dear Autumnal, Justin and Jenna's friends have excellent taste- LOVE OF MY YOUTH is a wonderful book written by one of my favorite authors: Mary Gordon. This is her latest and it is definitely a worthwhile read. Miranda and Adam meet accidentally in Rome after not having seen each other for almost forty years; both are happily married with spouses back in the States. When Adam offers to give Miranda a tour of his favorite Roman pieces of art, she reluctantly agrees. To add to our enjoyment and understanding, Gordon includes a map of their walking tour. As the couple goes from site to site, we learn more about their early lives and the more they reveal about each other, the more tantalizing is the question: what was it that caused their breakup? It is fascinating to look back in time and see how choices made long ago define and determine the present. As usual, Gordon uses art, global politics, feminism, family conflicts, and philosophical debates to make a simple story rich with meaning.

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