Dear Great Book Guru, This weekend I will be attending my first Sea Cliff Civic Association Progressive Dinner and I would love to have a good book to bring up if conversation lags. Any thoughts? Pensive Progressive Diner
Dear Pensive Progressive Diner, You will surely have a wonderful time , but I do have a great book to jumpstart any conversation: AMONG THE TEN THOUSAND THINGS by Julia Pierpont, an author we learned about from Gillian DiPietro. The book opens with eleven-year old Kay in the lobby of her family’s Upper Eastside apartment building about to accept a large package from a friendly doorman. Kay fantasizes that it is an early birthday present but then again why is it addressed to her mother? Well, it is indeed quite a present- the box contains the printouts of her father and his ex- lover’s sexually explicit emails. When Kay shares them with her fifteen year-old brother Simon and then her mother, the family is destroyed. As each family member begins to deal with this new reality, we learn about the details of their lives. Half way through the book , the author gives us in one chapter a panoramic view of the next ten years, only to bring us back to the past again. What was important – apparently nothing much as we watch dust gather in the abandoned family home, beloved pets and grandparents die, and the family fade away. The question remains- could any one of ten thousand things have changed this story? A remarkably memorable book and highly recommended!