Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Dear Great Book Guru, With the Labor Day weekend coming up and the Beach Committee's Family Day on Sunday, September 1, it is going to be a fun time here in Sea Cliff, but as usual I am looking for a good read. I would like a little suspense. Any suggestions?       Labor Day Enthusiast and  Reader

Dear Reader,  While I will be in England  this week, celebrating Barbara Pym's  centennial with the other members of the Pym Society of Sea Cliff, I will be thinking of all my friends  here in Sea Cliff on this glorious holiday weekend.  I just finished a book you might enjoy:  A PERSON OF INTEREST  by Susan Choi.  Choi's novel combines two high profile cases of the early 2000's- the Unabomber and Wen Ho Lee, a scientist falsely accused of espionage.  Choi's person of interest is not a particularly appealing character- Professor Lee is a rather elderly Asian -American who has a tenured position in the math department  of a third rate mid -western university. He is suspicious, jealous, and intractable. The novel opens with the violent death of a charismatic young math teacher whose office Lee shares. Why was this young man chosen- or was he chosen? Could Lee have been  the target or was Lee actually  the perpetrator?  As we watch with horror, we see Lee making mistake after mistake, cementing public opinion against him.  Lee  gradually reveals his shameful past  , but we continue to root for him as more and more damaging circumstantial evidence is unearthed. This  is a fascinating study of the power of fear, antipathy, prejudice and 'otherness'… and how all of us are complicit.  Recommended!

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