Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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.

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