Friday, December 18, 2015

 Dear Great Book Guru, All over town there are holiday parties and some of the most fun are cookies swaps and the best and oldest of these is Elizabeth Weinstein’s.  For 26 years Elizabeth has been hosting  her elegant celebration of sweets and friendship.  Well, this year I have my cookies baked and ready to go, so I have time for a good book.  Do you have something short I could read before the party?  Cookie Swap Connoisseur

Dear Cookie Swap Connoisseur,  I just finished a very short , very touching semi-autobiographical novel (146 pages) by a young Italian  physicist Paolo Giordano: LIKE FAMILY.   A young husband and wife hire Mrs. A, a middle-aged widow as a  housekeeper, and eventually nanny for their young son. She quickly becomes the center of their family life with her quirky steadfast devotion to each of them. When she falls ill,  the couple are confronted with their own mortality, their commitment to one another, and their diminished expectations for themselves and their child.  The husband/narrator brings us effortlessly from past to present as we see Mrs. A cope with life’s  cruel challenges.  The four members of this “family” share much, defining themselves in relation to each other so when one is removed, everything must be reexamined.  Beautifully written and very compelling- recommended!

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