Monday, August 14, 2017

Three Junes by Julia Glass

Readers check in with a family's members three times (in the month of June) to learn about their relationships and loves. We meet recently widowed Paul as he vacations in Greece and ponders his new life and the condition of his family. Then we meet his sons, years later, as they gather for Paul's funeral. Further on, we meet up with prodigal son Fenno when his dog - his last link to his mother - dies and is buried.

We read this for book discussion. I was only halfway through by our discussion date, and decided I was going to continue because - unlike everyone else - I was enjoying the story.

A lot of the book centers around Fenno and his life off in New York. He moves across the world, graduates college, begins a business, comes to terms with his sexuality, deals with the impact of AIDS on his circle of friends, and makes visits back to Scotland to see his family. What he doesn't do is fall in love. Which makes him a slightly tragic figure.

I liked the book - it's rather quiet, without big drama. Just people trying to do the best they can, and sometimes failing.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

A preview of the upcoming movie adaptation was enough to finally convince I needed to read this children's classic. The extra bonus in the library catalog was an available unabridged audio version read by the author herself.

An awkward girl and her genius preschool brother are swept into the intergalactic war of good and evil as they try to bring their scientist father back from a prolonged absence. They're joined by a neighborhood teenage boy with his own special talents.

Led by three supernatural creatures who steer their adventure, the children encounter many new and different creatures. They also learn to recognize their own strengths and the good in the world.

I enjoyed the book quite a bit, but reflect that I probably would not have enjoyed it as a child (I hated science fiction). I'm certainly glad that I'll understand the references now, as this book is considered an essential classic in the canon of children's literature.