Wednesday, August 14, 2013

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!

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