Thursday, May 15, 2014

What Sisters Are Reading

On our community's website I organize a small section called "What Sisters Are Reading." We just passed one year of postings with 38 "book reviews" uploaded from over 30 sisters. Now I'm starting over, eliciting a second review from the first year's "posters." One of our sisters suggested that I expand it to include entries from our 250+ oblates. Good idea! I haven't asked them formally yet, but if there are any oblates reading this, please feel welcome to send me an entry. Summertime/vacation weeks is a great time to catch up on fun reading.

To that end, I posted one myself today--and here it is:
Richard Russo's 2001 book, Empire Falls won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction. That fact and the joy of discovering that our Mount library had a copy were enough for me to read it and fall in love with Russo's writing style. That Old Cape Magic is my second Russo and I truly am crazy about them both.

Why? First and foremost, Richard Russo is a talented writer. It reminds me of the old adage, "I may not be an artist, but I know what I like"! Ditto for writing; second, the story itself is interesting, very ordinary and yet special at the same time; third, he makes me laugh, cry, think and wonder about his characters' lives and my own.

The only drawback, and it's very, very small, is that they are both told by a man. But that's not much of a drawback because I'm realizing that I'm "learning" a lot about the way some men (Russo and his main characters) go about life: its living and reflection thereon. Also, the women in the stories, and there are many, are wonderful characters who without a doubt play a very strong and predominant role in the men's lives.

I just started my third Russo, Bridge of Sighs and it is already another engaging and very enjoyable "ride" for these early summer days.

If you want to try one of these, I'd suggest That Old Cape Magic. It's the shortest of the three and if you like it, you'll love the longer ones (as in, "I hope this book never ends.")