Dear Great Book Guru, Last Sunday I hosted an Oscar party and what fun we had! There were Oscars for all and a grand prize for the guest who guessed best – a vintage salad spinner. Well, during the awards, someone mentioned a book she had recently read about a British family, sharing secrets, silences, and a summer together; she thought it would make a great film. Sound familiar? An Academy Awards Aficionado
Dear Academy Awards Aficionado, How wonderful that books were on everyone’s mind in the midst of this annual Hollywood extravaganza! THE PAST by Tessa Hadley is a memorable novel set around 2015. Four middle-aged siblings agree to spend three weeks together in their decrepit family vacation home - perhaps for the last time. The three sisters and their brother bring a history that begins in the 1960’s with their parents’ marriage and covers the years, deaths, and rivalries that followed. As Hadley says “They knew one another well, all too well, and yet they were continually surprised…” The novel spans generations as we hear Jill their mother - long dead - muse on her disappointing marriage and fifty years later her children wondering where their relationships have gone awry. The beauty of this book lies in its ability to make the ordinary moments of that summer so alive with each of the characters sharing stories that underlie the beauty and uncertainties of life. A book with quiet but lasting appeal - highly recommended!