Dear Great Book Guru, The month of December is filled with a myriad of Sea Cliff holiday events, and I attend them all - but my favorite is the Scrooge Stroll. Fred Stroppel creates a magnificent reimagining of Charles Dickens’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL with costumed characters walking the streets of Sea Cliff. I will have some free time afterwards, so if you have a good book to recommend, I would be grateful. Scrooge Stroller
Dear Scrooge Stroller, My book club recently read Edna O’Brien’s GIRL; we found it very compelling and very disturbing. It is the story of one girl, but Maryam is a composite of many. It opens as men claiming to be soldiers invade the dormitory of a girls’ high school. They pretend to have come to save them but instead capture and enslave them - these are the Boko Haram girls. We follow the brutal history of the young Maryam as she endures horrific torture - physical and mental - at the hands of these religious zealots. When she finally escapes, her family and community are far from welcoming. O’Brien who is eighty-eight years-old has been writing about the subjugation of women and girls for over sixty years. Most of her novels have been set In Ireland, but for this latest book she traveled to Nigeria to underscore the universal oppression of women. This is a painful book to read, but very worthwhile. Highly recommended!