Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dear Great Book Guru, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and Sea Cliff in many ways is the perfect Halloween village- spooky houses, winding streets, falling leaves, even an ancient cemetery. I'm definitely in the mood for something dark and compelling to read. Any thoughts? Halloween Reveler

Dear Halloween Reveler, Minutes ago I finished a wonderful book that might be just what you are looking for: CASE HISTORIES by Kate Atkinson. Set in 2005 in suburban London, this literary thriller presents us with three unsolved murders, spanning twenty-five years. The opening chapters describe the events in real time as they occurred from the perspectives of various family members. In the first case, we hear four sisters describe a brutally hot summer's day that ends with the disappearance of the youngest sibling. The next case is told from the perspective of a young woman having a difficult time adjusting to life as a wife and mother on a small farm just outside of the city. The last case involves a young college student working in her father's law office. Later we meet the character that will tie all three cases together- Jackson Brodie, an ex-policeman with a strong desire to learn French and relocate to the south of France as soon as possible. While the unraveling of the various mysteries makes for a compelling read, the finest aspect of the book is the realization expressed by the poet Phillip Larkin- "...what will survive of us is love."

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