Ann Moore, adult services librarian, recommends two novels, one a unique family drama and the other a mixture of family drama and Alaskan adventure. Both are part of the “Books a la Carte” discussion series this summer at the Central Branch of the Schenectady County Public Library.
'To the Bright Edge of the World' by Eowyn Ivey
This Pulitzer Prize-finalist novel is a unique combination of history, adventure and survival, plus a look at traditional women’s roles. In 1885, Col. Allen Forrester and a small crew encounter everything that the Alaskan wilderness has to throw at them.
Meanwhile, Allen’s lonely, bored wife Sophie finds solace in experimenting with the new technology of photography, hoping that in her darkroom she can somehow capture a sense of light. The story is presented as a collection of historical documents, pictures and artifacts donated by Allen’s great-nephew to a museum.
Discussion on Thursday, July 13, at 6:30; facilitated by James Belflower, a poet, critic and performer.
'Commonwealth' by Ann Patchett
Patchett’s most personal novel is a funny, chilling, entrancing look into one family’s “commonwealth”— its shared relationships and dependencies, loves and losses, conflicts and joys. Spanning five decades, the book explores how a chance encounter at a baby’s christening impacts the lives of four parents and six children.
When a legendary writer uses the children’s experiences as the basis for a successful novel, they must come to terms with the responsibility, loyalty and guilt they feel for each other.
Discussion on Tuesday, Aug. 1, at 6:30; facilitated by Susan Oringel, a poet and psychologist.