Dear Great Book Guru, The lazy, hazy days of summer are surely upon us and, of course, this is the perfect time to settle down in a lovely air-conditioned living room or on breezy porch with a compelling novel . Any suggestions? Summer Fan of Fiction
Dear Summer Fan of Fiction, This weekend I read a wonderfully poignant coming of age novel THEY MAY NOT MEAN TO, BUT THEY DO by Cathleen Schine. The coming of age described is old age, and the title comes from a Philip Larkin poem describing the painful ballet parents and children find themselves dancing throughout the years. Joy Bergman is 86 years old and coping with the many losses that time has brought. Molly and Daniel- her children- and Ben, Cora, and Ruby- her grandchildren- are coping with Joy and their own very complicated lives. Set largely in New York City, the novel is both cleverly humorous and starkly bleak as three generations of Bergmans look for solutions to life’s inevitable changes. Add the Bergman grandchildren’s legal and religious crises and you have a deliciously dark, thought provoking look into family life circa 2016.