Saturday, December 16, 2017

Dear Great Book Guru,  I love to check out the various lists of the best books of 2017 and this year there are so many great novels I want to read .  Is there one in particular you would recommend?  Reader of the Best of 2017

Dear Reader of the Best of 2017,  I was pleased to see AUTUMN by Ali Smith leading off the New York Times Best Books of 2017 list.  My book club is reading it this week and I am eager to hear my friends’ reactions.  The story is a study of time, memory, politics, love, and friendship.  Set in the fall of 2016, following Britain’s vote to exit the European Union, the novel opens with the comatose thoughts of a 101 year-old man and then shifts to the thoughts of his closest friend, a 32 year-old woman. Both are  struggling with the new realities of life in Brexit England.  References to Dickens’s “Tale of Two Cities, ” underscore the immense change that England is undergoing as it closes itself off from much of what  has defined its nationhood.  Daniel, the elderly man, remembers a world far different from 2016 and looks in fear and amazement to the future. Elisabeth, the young woman, finds herself frustrated by the bureaucratic meanness of life in 2016.   Autumn with its seasonally melancholy look back on the year offers us a metaphor for looking back on a lifetime.  Recommended… 

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