Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Dear Great Book Guru,  I have received an invitation the Sea Cliff Civic Association's annual Newcomers Party for this Sunday.  I am so excited- I heard that over thirty fellow newcomers will be attending.  I would like to make sure I have something to talk about- other than tales of Sea Cliff, which, of course, is my favorite topic.   Please recommend a book that will be a good conversation starter.           Nervous Newcomer

Dear Newcomer, Don't be nervous- this party is such fun and marks the first of many, many exciting Sea Cliff events for you. But I do have a very good book you might enjoy: THE O'BRIENS by Peter Behrens.  Set in the wilds of Quebec in 1900, the novel  quickly moves to Venice, California to Kennebunkport, Maine , then on to  Montreal  and New York City . Over the years and miles, we come to know the O'Briens, especially Joe O'Brien who is fifteen when we first meet him and the head of a recently orphaned family.  He is a dynamic force propelling his siblings out of backwoods misery  into lives not necessarily of their choosing.  Mistakes are made but Joe's concern is always for his family. When he marries Iseult,  he vows to do better by his new family and he does , but again mistakes are made. The book studies the effects of family, fate, and geography over a span of sixty years, two world wars, and many  triumphs and tragedies.  Highly recommended!

Literary Event Reminder:  Dan Fagin - illustrious Sea Cliff resident and author of the much acclaimed TOMS  RIVER- will be discussing his book this Thursday, September 26 at 7pm at the Sea Cliff Library.

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