Monday, October 31, 2005

Recommended Reading

What's up with the Book Club? No reports on meetings lately. I recently finished reading one of the most remarkable books I've ever set eyes upon and thought I'd let you know about it.

Star of the Sea by Joseph O'Connor.

Here's what the book jacket says:

"In the bitter winter of 1847, from an Ireland torn by famine and injustice, the Star of the Sea sets sail for NewYork. On board are hundreds of refugees, some optimistic, many more desperate. Among them are a maid with a devastating secret, the bankrupt Lord Merridith, his wife and children, and a killer stalking the decks, hungry for the vengeance that will bring absolution.This journey will see many lives end, others begin anew. Passionate loves are tenderly recalled, shirked responsibilities regretted too late, and profound relationships shockingly revealed. In this spellbinding tale of tragedy and mercy, love and healing, the farther the ship sails toward the Promised Land, the more her passengers seem moored to a past that will never let them go.As urgently contemporary as it is historical, this exciting and compassionate novel builds with the pace of a thriller to a stunning conclusion."

This is not a book that I gulped down in one sitting. It is one that I would have to put down between chapters because I wanted to relish each chapter. You know how if you have a favorite TV drama, one hour is enough to last you for the whole week? This book is like that. Each chapter is a story of its own. And yet each one takes you deeper into the overall story. It has witty dialog, history, compassion, hope, sadness, irony, plot twists, and so many other things all very well put together.

My only hesitation in recommending this book is that it presents some adult situations. If this book was a movie, it would definitely be rated "R". But unlike the adult situations in many other books which could be slyly alluded to and left to the imagination of the reader, the situations in this book reveal incidents that motivate the characters' current actions. They give you insight into the character of the character.

Oh, and by the way, a reading group discussion guide for this book can be found online. If any of you choose to read it, I positively want to hear your opinion.

What are the rest of you reading? Any recommendations to pass along?