Dear Great Book Guru, What a wonderous Sea Cliff weekend awaits us! On Sunday December 4 at 3pm we have the Scrooge Stroll -a reenactment of Charles Dickens’s CHRISTMAS CAROL as we walk through the streets of Sea Cliff Village with playwright Frederick Stroppel as Dickens himself, Dan DiPietro as Scrooge and a merry troupe of costumed Sea Cliff actors playing all the other roles. Then at 5pm everyone gathers in front of the Adult Library to celebrate the lighting of the Village Christmas Tree. Do you have something for me to read while waiting for these festivities to begin?
Scrooge Stroller and Village Tree Lighter
Dear Scrooge Stroller and Village Tree Lighter, At this time of year, I often find myself returning to MR. IVES’ CHRISTMAS by Oscar Hijuelos. When we first meet Mr. Ives, his life appears perfect- abandoned as a young infant , he was adopted into a loving home and now in 1954 he is a successful New York businessman with a beautiful, devoted wife and two adored children and buoyed by a deep faith in the goodness of all things. By the second chapter, with the murder of his young son on Christmas Eve, his faith has been destroyed. The rest of the book deals with Ives’s struggle to make sense of his loss. While it may seem an odd choice for holiday reading, there is something enormously uplifting about this book as we follow Ives on his journey from a hollow, grieving man to a gloriously forgiving redemptive figure. In many ways it is a contemporary version of Dickens’s CHRISTMAS CAROL as we travel back in time to joyful moments and then forward to moments of unspeakable horror and then forward again to Ives’s moment of ultimate salvation. This beautifully written story will remain with you for a very long time- highly recommended!