Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dear Great Book Guru,
Last month, while attending a Summer Solstice porch party, my friend Rob and I heard members of a book club discussing their next month's choice. Although we disagreed on the title ( I think it was GOOD TO A FAULT), we both agreed it sounded interesting. Does it sound familiar to you?
Summer Solstice Senorita
Dear Summer, What a good choice for a book club! GOOD TO A FAULT by Marina Endicott is a novel that has a cozy feel to it but one whose true concern is far from cozy- what makes a good person? The heroine of the story is Clary and the book opens with a minor car accident in which Clary might or might not have been a t fault. The Pell family- a cranky grandmother, a very sick mother, an infant, two young children, and an irritating bombastic father are in the other car; everyone ends up in the emergency room for the briefest of moments. Only the mother remains hospitalized- it turns out she is gravely sick with a previously undiagnosed terminal illness. Clary, who has lived alone in her late parents' home, takes a leave from her job to care for the family. The children's father quickly deserts them , stealing Clary's extra car and is not heard from for much of the book. We witness all that Clary does for the ill woman and her very needy children ,but we also see the emotional satisfaction Clary gets from the situation. We are confronted with numerous plot developments that change our outlook on Clary's motivations. Along the way, we are introduced to a cast of fascinating characters: a sensitive, poetry-quoting recently divorced clergyman, a saintly, elderly neighbor, an equally elderly but pilfering in-law, and many more folks who all help us decide what goodness means and… is it possible to be a good person ?

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