Thursday, August 23, 2012

Book Review

The Sense of an EndingThe Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Some mediocre books make it to the best seller list. Many good books do not. As much as I anticipated reading "The Sense of an Ending", I have to say for me it was mediocre. It's a short book, less than 200 pages, and could probably be read in one night. Because it was on the best seller list, and the synopsis sounded interesting, I read it. The book is almost all narrative, the musings of the now retired Anthony Webster, looking back on his youth, his friends at the time, and how they affected him. That's part one. In part two, Anthony is now older, wiser, retired. He went through an amicable divorce, and has a daughter with whom he gets along well. A contact from his past stirs up many unresolved issues, making him re-evaluate everything in his life. The ending comes with an almost ridiculous twist. I'd say more but would spoil it for anyone who might want to read this book. The author writes well and has won awards for previous efforts. Unfortunately, good writing can't overcome a bad story, it just makes it a little easier to read.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

It's a Small World

Northville, Michigan is a small town several miles outside Detroit. Its streets are tree lined and full of well maintained Victorian houses. Its main street boasts a town square, there's little traffic, and the ample parking is free. The restaurants and stores are all locally owned - not a chain in sight. You don't stumble upon Northville, you have to seek it out. As a child growing up in Detroit I used to horseback ride at the Northville Riding Academy. Returning as an adult recently, very little had changed.

While eating an ice cream cone at Rebecca's, my husband and I began chatting with a lady and her niece. We assumed both ladies lived in Northville, until the older lady asked us where we lived, and we replied, Laguna Niguel, in southern California. We quickly followed up with our usual addendum, it's right next to Laguna Beach, which everyone knows. She quickly responded that she knew Laguna Niguel, because her niece lived there and was also visiting in Northville! What were the chances? Turns out we live about a mile from each other, but had to travel over 2000 miles to meet. This isn't the first time we've traveled far and ran into someone from nearby, but it never ceases to surprise us. Has it happened to you?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Home Again

I've returned from my Michigan trip, tired by the active daily pace, and energized by seeing many old friends and places. In my earlier blog I commented on how buildings are torn down and replaced, rather than rehabilitated. I didn't realize that my old high school would be one of them. I was a student at Mumford High, made famous in a movie some years back. The school was only a year old when I started there, with no football team, swimming pool, or any traditions. Now it's being torn down to make way for a learning center. I thought my high school was a learning center. That's progress, I guess.

Now I'm back to my writing routine, waiting for the galleys on my second book, NO GOOD DEED. Hope to see it in print by the end of August, but it may be wishful thinking.

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