Monday, July 22, 2019

Dear Great Book Guru, Last week I was at an Aloha Farewell Party for the Kessler family, Karen, Scott and their children are moving to Hawaii in the next few days and their many, many Sea Cliff friends will miss them terribly. At the party there was much talk about good books to read on their long flight.  Someone mentioned a new book by the author of the prize-winning UNDERGROUND RAILROAD. What are your thoughts?  Missing the Kesslers Already

Dear Missing…, What a great suggestion - THE NICKEL BOYS by Colson Whitehead is a short, very powerful historical novel based on a real-life reform school: the Dozier School for Boys. Opened in 1900 and finally closed in 2011, the school was the site of brutality, torture, and murder. Whitehead tells the story from the perspective of two young boys: Elwood Curtis and his friend Turner. Elwood is an idealistic follower of Martin Luther King and believes that by following rules and loving his oppressors, justice will triumph.  On the way to his first day of college, he accepts a ride in what turns out to be a stolen car and is arrested. Nickel Academy is offered as a supposedly good alternative to prison. Turner is much more cynical and is soon proven the wiser of the two.  The Jim Crow laws of the 1960’s prevail, and Elwood’s innocence is destroyed.  A startlingly pessimistic take on the American dream - highly recommended!

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