Dear Great Book Guru, I am planning on meeting friends and family Sunday morning for breakfast at Sea Cliff Beach Café. I love their omelets and the bagels are delicious. When we all get together conversation often turns to what everyone is reading. I would love to have a good book to “bring to the table.” Any thoughts? Beach Breakfaster
Dear Beach Breakfaster, I am also a big fan of the Beach Café, and a big fan too of DO NOT BE ALARMED by Maile Meloy. This novel tells the story of three families on a cruise ship traveling through the ports of Central America. The two American cousins Nora and Liv have husbands and two children each- all of whom are very close. When the husbands accept a golfing invitation, Nora and Liv decide to go onshore with the children for a zip line expedition- a decision they all come quickly to regret because indeed- “there is much to be alarmed about…” When their well-meaning but inept guide crashes his car on the way to their destination, the women find themselves separated from the children. Disaster after disaster awaits them. Much more than a tale of suspense, this book analyzes the role luck plays in our lives. Being born an American is shown to be huge piece of luck and to be a wealthy American so much the better, but in the end, luck itself proves ephemeral. A fascinating thriller… and a strong sociological study- highly recommended!