Friday, June 23, 2023

Dear Great Book Guru, July is one of my favorite Sea Cliff months - so many great events plus all those Sunset Serenades to enjoy! I would love to read a book set on Long Island that captures some of the summer vibe. Any suggestions?  Fan of Sea Cliff Summers

Dear Fan of Sea Cliff Summers, Emma Cline’s THE GUEST is set entirely on Long Island’s East End and covers one summer week.   Alex is a twenty-two-year-old - bright, beautiful, and …homeless - thrown out by her New York City roommates for not paying rent, drug use, and stealing from them. She has been banned from local restaurants and bars, and is being stalked by Dom - a mysterious, threatening character from whom she has stolen a large amount of money.   But in a “lucky” move she meets Simon a much older, very wealthy man who has a home in the Hamptons - where we first meet Alex. A few weeks into her stay, she angers him and she is once again looking for shelter. The rest of the book is a Homeric-like odyssey; she travels throughout the Hamptons meeting an assortment of mostly very wealthy, unscrupulous characters who she beguiles, bewitches, and betrays only to be trapped by her own missteps. The novel is a suspenseful tale of one woman’s misguided attempts to survive, but it is also a harsh indictment of a money-driven society that treats people with shameful disregard. Alex is not blameless, but it is hard not to see her as a victim.  Highly recommended!


Saturday, June 17, 2023

Dear Great Book Guru,  I am  very excited about all the wonderful things going on in Sea Cliff this summer - from the Village-wide Garage Sale, to Sunset Serenades, to the James Joyce Jaunt… and so much more!  Of course, I am always looking for a good book to read - perhaps a mystery.  Any suggestions?  Sea Cliff Summer Swooner

Dear Sea Cliff Summer Swooner, Last week I read a captivating mystery you might enjoy: THE EDEN TEST by Adam Sternbergh.  The prologue opens with two bodies being removed from a wooded upstate New York retreat, so we know the ending (or we think we know), but who are the victims, how did they die, and what about the other ten characters that we meet up – what role did they play?  We are transported back a week as Daisy - an aspiring actress and wife of Craig - is planning to attend a couples’ retreat week in an attempt to salvage her marriage.  Craig – her husband of three years - has a plan for the week too - to tell Daisy he is leaving her for another woman.  His bags are packed and are in the trunk of his car with a Caribbean getaway in mind.  Things change rapidly when the couple begin to reveal secrets about themselves. A series of strange encounters and flashbacks make for a terror-filled read.  Soon we realize that none of the characters we meet are who they seem and instead we have stumbled into a bizarre version of Eden…. Recommended!