Friday, December 20, 2013

Dear Great Book Guru,  Last weekend, I was at Elizabeth Weinstein’s 24thAnnual Cookie Swap and as usual, the cookies were delicious, the treats tasty, and the company  stellar.  As is often the case at Sea Cliff events, conversation turned to books.  One partygoer went on and on about her favorite author- I think her name was Alice McDermott. Have you read anything by her? I am looking for something relatively quick to read over the upcoming holiday weekend.   Elated Cookie Swapper

Dear Elated, I agree- Elizabeth’s cookie swap is one of the highlights of the holiday season, and I agree too that Alice McDermott is a very fine writer. I just read her latest novel SOMEONE and it touched me greatly.  Set largely in Brooklyn between the two world wars, the story is told by Marie who is seven when we first meet her.  Her neighbors, her friends, her parents, her brother-all the “someones” that make up Marie’s life are described in exquisite, almost painful detail. We go back and forth in time and characters we meet early on are reintroduced and seen through the different prisms of time and memory.  As we observe and, yes, examine Marie’s long life: its tragedies, its triumphs, its mysteries, we come to see the ordinary as truly extraordinary.  Highly recommended!

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