Dear Great Book Guru, Last week I attended an amazing event- the Great Gatsby Gala. Lovers of this great American novel gathered to enjoy a dramatization of the book, participate in a detailed discussion of its main themes, and then tested their knowledge in an extended trivia contest. We all went home with prizes, favors, and dessert treats from Sleepy Jean’s. While at the party, someone mentioned a fast-moving literary thriller set in a Florida courtroom. Any thoughts? Great Gatsby Gadfly
Dear Great Gatsby Gadfly, I just spent the afternoon reading THE BODY IN QUESTION by Jill Ciment. This short (200 pages) novel opens as a panel of jurors are being chosen for what they soon find out is a sensational murder trial. A teenage girl from a wealthy family is accused of murdering her toddler brother and her twin sister is testifying against her. The jurors are sequestered for three weeks and we come to learn much about them all especially Juror C-2 (we do not learn their names until the last pages of the book). She is a 52-year-old successful Prius-driving photographer married to an 86-year-old man in poor health. She and Juror F-17 – a forty-year-old medical school professor - begin an affair that is soon discovered by the rest of the jury. There are many questions posed: is the accused indeed guilty, what role did her domineering twin play in the death, how does C-2’s affair cloud her judgment, and finally what role does the media play in our justice system? A very powerful and disturbing read - highly recommended!