Thursday, November 20, 2008

How could I have missed this?

I don't know if you have read any of Wally Lamb's books before, but they are simply heartbreaking and heartfelt. In case you don't remember, his previous books were She's Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True.

In She's Come Undone, we meet Dolores Price who has dealt with a severely disappointing life, filled with abandonment, rape, and abuse by self medicating with FOOD. While none of these things are laughing matters, Wally Lamb makes lemonade out of lemons and this is an engaging and entertaining read.

In I Know This Much Is True, Dominick Birdsey is one of the brothers who make up identical twins. His brother Thomas is a schizophrenic who at one point in the book, slices his hand off. But Dominick is the central character in the book which explores self denial, self discovery and the wreckage left behind every dysfunctional family. It is a little imposing at 928 pages but the language, dialog and humor are worth it.

While researching this blog I found that he taught a writing class for incarcerated women and wrote a book, or editing one, that compiled their stories. Couldn't Keep It to Myself and I'll fly Away are composed of essays written by the women inmates of a maximum security prison. These are next on my reading list.

In case you hadn't noticed, both of these titles are based on song lyrics, so when I saw the new book, I was "looking" for the music attached. It finally dawned on me....Amazing Grace.

The new book is about a teacher who was present and "survived," in a manner of speaking, the Columbine School Shooting. Never quite recovering, she retreats to her husbands small New England town where the story continues on a different but connected vein.

Again, not a pretty topic, but I am looking forward to reading something new by Mr. Lamb. It has been 8 years I think, since his last book. I guess you can call him the opposite of James Patterson. I am sure this book will be worth the wait.

No comments: