Monday, July 22, 2013

Dear Great Book Guru,  I was having breakfast at Sea Cliff Beach last Sunday and what a great experience it was! Ann Kopple and her staff keep the Beach and the Pavilion pristine plus we have Bernard's  serving  the most delicious meals all through the day. And the best part- you can always find friends to share a table with and that's just what I did- I met up with Gail and Bob Lafferty. As you would expect with such an erudite couple,  the conversation quickly took a literary turn. We were sharing recent recommendations and I couldn't remember  the name of the  new highly acclaimed  novel about a young girl who had been cyber-bullied with a tragic result.  Do you know the book?                                 Sea Cliff Beach Breakfaster

Dear Beach Breakfaster,  I share your enthusiasm- I had a scrumptious grilled vegetable omelet there last week. On a darker note, the book is RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA  by Kimberly McCreight. Amelia is the fourteen-year-old  daughter of Kate Baron, a partner in a prestigious New York City law firm. The novel opens with Kate traveling to Amelia's exclusive private school in Brooklyn's Park Slope. Amelia is about to be suspended for plagiarizing a paper on Virginia Woolf. Kate's irritation turns to horror when she realizes that Amelia is dead- despondent over disappointing her mother, she has jumped to her death. Within hours though, Kate receives a text "she didn't jump" and the mystery unfolds-  this is all within the first ten pages . We learn much about Amelia as Kate gains access to Facebook accounts, text messages, and notebooks,  but we learn much  about Kate as well . While this is definitely a  literary mystery,it is also a coming of age novel., a study in mother-daughter relationships, and an indictment of social media.   Recommended!

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