Dear Great Book Guru, Last weekend, I was in Martha's Vineyard with the Anzalones, DiPietros and Marcheses, enjoying a day at the Edgartown beach when the conversation turned to favorite authors. One of the group enthusiastically proclaimed her newest favorite was Kate Atkinson. Have you read any of her books and, if so, which one would you recommend I begin with? Vacationing in MV but Missing Sea Cliff
Dear Vacationing, How funny- Kate Atkinson's name came up just the other day. Shelia Wenger and I were discussing the Good of the Village Antique Fair (which is scheduled for September 7 at the St.Boniface 's Field). Having recently read LIFE AFTER LIFE, Atkinson's latest novel, I was trying to describe to Shelia how much I enjoyed it, but it is a very difficult book to explain. We meet Ursula Todd on the day of her birth: February 11, 1910- the night she dies- which is also the night she is saved from death, for Ursula is to die and escape death many , many times throughout this five hundred page saga of twentieth century England . The upper class family life of the Todds is beautifully described in Downton Abbey detail ,but the devastation of war torn London is even more vividly described. Buddhism, chance, fate, déjà vu - all color this story and by the middle of the book we begin to find an eerie comfort in knowing that despite terrible suffering and miraculous triumphs , nothing is final. We mourn characters who die tragically only to meet them in subsequent chapters alive, happy and posed for new adventures. This is a very unusual novel and highly recommended!