Monday, February 25, 2013

Dear Great Book Guru,   I went  with friends this week to a book signing for our friend Fred Stroppel's new book LUCKY ME that he wrote with Sachi Parker. There was a huge crowd and we had so much fun! While on line, I heard a group of literary types talking about a novel they had chosen for their book club. It wasn't a bestseller and certainly not new but it sounded very interesting- something about sibling relationships, astronomy, and J. Robert Oppenheimer.  Have I given you enough clues?                             Always Looking for a Good Book

Dear Always Looking,  I know just the book:  FIRST LIGHT by Charles Baxter. Written in 1987 and recently re-released,  this novel uses a very interesting technique: beginning in the present, each  chapter brings us further into the past. Baxter opens with Dorsey and her brother Hugh,  spending the Fourth of July weekend together with their respective  spouses and children;  the concluding chapter  chronicles their first meeting : the day Dorsey was born. It is a touching, gentle story of family miscues,  faltering affections,  and shared history .   The title comes from the term used to describe a telescope's first view which is imprecise before a series of corrections bring it to full clarity. By the end , we  understand  with telescopic clarity this brother and sister's present relationship , certainly more clearly than they themselves can.  A beautifully written book- highly recommended!

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