Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Dear Great Book Guru,  This weekend Sea Cliff Beach opens- what fun! And then on Monday, we have the annual Memorial Day Parade starting at 9am at Memorial Park and ending up at Clifton Park. As usual, Phil Como will organize and host this bittersweet event. Do you have something short for me to read since there will be little time with all that’s going on in the Village?   Parade Enthusiast

Dear Parade Enthusiast,  I just finished a lovely, very short book about a woman  we meet as a young girl in rural Ireland in 1944 and follow for sixty years: ACADEMY STREET by Mary Costello. We travel with Tess to America and watch as her life plays out in New York City. Throughout we hear her voice and it is singularly lyrical and haunting. Was it the early death of her mother, her father’s stoic harshness, her life as an outsider, an immigrant- what was it that made her so introspective, so detached, so seemingly unlucky in life? Her son at one point coldly asks “Do you ever think you might be beyond people?”   The Vietnam War, the Kennedy assassination, New York City’s changing landscape, 9/11- all serve as backdrop to Tess’s  story ;  we are touched by her noble spirit- a spirit that endures despite astonishing misfortune.  Tess is the person we pass on the street and never really see but whose life is incredibly rich in emotion and insight. A truly beautiful book- highly recommended!

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