Monday, May 7, 2012

Dear Great Book Guru,  I just received a mailing from the Sea Cliff Civic Association and I am so excited about all the events that are coming up over the next few months. I am definitely planning on taking part in their  village-wide Garage Sale on June 2 and, yes, that very weekend will be my twenty-five year high school reunion. When will I find time to read? Help!!!   A Busy Bibliophile

Dear Busy Bibliophile,  How funny you should mention your class reunion because last night, I finished a novel that deals with just that subject.  THE RED BOOK by Deborah C. Kogan takes its title from the red book that Harvard publishes for its alumni every five years. Made up of autobiographical sketches each graduate submits, the red book is eagerly awaited and serves as an informative prelude to the reunion weekend. Kogan focusues on four alumni, contrasting the brief facts each writes with the real life each is living.  We follow the four across the country to a world they had inhabited twenty years ago. Good and bad decisions, illnesses, financial triumphs and disasters, 9/11, the  collapse of the newspaper industry -all play roles in this novel.  The characters are cleverly described in alternating chapters so we come to feel we really know them; then we are catapulted another five years to their twenty-fifth anniversary where much has changed once again. This book is easy to dismiss with its simple plot and chatty style, but the overall effect is quite moving.  I hope your reunion has less drama than this one but you never know….

PS  If you are in Sea Cliff this Friday, May 11 at 3pm, stop by the Children's Library for the annual Maypole Dance/ Founders' Day celebration. As in past years,  Walter and Petrice Kaider will graciously "plant" the Maypole for all of us to enjoy.

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