Dear Great Book Guru, I was at a wonderful concert last week at the Bitter End in Manhattan: Antigone Rising with Sea Cliff’s own Kristen Henderson and Nini Camps. Much of Sea Cliff was there to join in the fun and, sure enough, during a break in the music, a group next to me started discussing their book club’s latest pick- a collection of linked short stories that spanned eleven centuries. It sounded intriguing…any thoughts? Fan of Antigone Rising
Dear Fan, I too am a great fan of Antigone Rising and so enjoyed that sense of the moveable feast that is Sea Cliff. IDEAS OF HEAVEN: A RING OF STORIES by Joan Silber is indeed a perfect choice for a book group. Each story stands alone but minor characters in one emerge as major players in the next with many fascinating linkages and all told from a different character’s point of view. We meet Alice in the opening story as a teenager and follow her over forty years to meet her again in the closing story which is her husband’s. In between we read of a sadistic dance instructor, an Italian poet from the sixteenth century, an American missionary caught up in the Boxer Rebellion of 1906, and a French widower living through the tumultuous 1960’s. Each so different but all sharing a common longing: the longing to be complete- an idea of heaven.