Dear Great Book Guru, This weekend we were at a fabulous family wedding. The bride and groom, Shannon and Nick, had a picture-perfect wedding day and… as so happens when our family gets together, the conversation turned to books. Many of the cousins were excited about a new Booker Prize nominee that was a combination of family drama and sci fi. Familiar with it? Happy Wedding Guest
Dear Happy Wedding Guest, The book you are searching for is Richard Powers’ BEWILDERMENT and a wonderful recommendation it is! Set in the near future, the story follows a father and son on an amazing journey. The father, Theo Byrne, is an astrobiologist recently widowed; the son is Robin, a third grader who is grieving his mother’s death. Robin is a sensitive, gifted artist and lover of nature, who has difficulty controlling his anger especially towards classmates. When the school authorities suggest medication, Theo refuses and consults with a friend who suggests an experimental neurofeedback therapy. Robin’s parents had earlier been part of an experiment that mapped their emotions in great detail. Soon we realize Robin is being linked to his mother’s brain patterns. The story line is interspersed with descriptions of planets throughout the galaxy where life may have existed in ways similar to ours – all with differing outcomes. What the outcome of life on planet Earth will be is the underlying theme of this novel. A challenging but rewarding read - highly recommended!