Saturday, April 23, 2011

T is for Thinking

I know, I know, the "Th" kind of ruins the awesome alliterativeness of the challenge. But clearly I've been doing too much thinking. For the second morning in a row, I've woken up while it was still pitch dark outside, and haven't fallen back asleep. My mind circles the characters in both the novel I'm writing and the novels I'm reading.

Thursday I finished "Cutting for Stone," by Abraham Verghese. It's long--six-hundred pages--and sprawling. It travels from the Yemen in the 1940s to New York in the 1980s and Ethiopia in the 2000s. The story is told from the point of view of Marion, half of a pair of identical twin boys born to a Catholic nun under mysterious circumstances. Verghese is a doctor, and this is his first novel. The book is well-written with fully-formed characters, and you can tell that Verghese wishes to fit their entire world within the pages of the book.

Another book I'd started a week or so ago, "The Uncoupling," by Meg Wolitzer, is very different in tone and theme. Her story takes place in a New Jersey suburb that is considered livable and progressive. But a spell comes over the town one winter causing the women (of all ages) to lose any desire for men. We jump points of view, learning the stories of the women, and see how this spell affects them. I'm two-thirds through the book and fully engrossed in the characters. Not unrelated, the school (to which all the women are connected) is set to perform the Greek play "Lysistrata," by Aristophanes.

I recommend both books.


george rede said...

My wife is reading "Cutting for Stone" and enjoying it very much. A friend tells us that Verghese is due to speak in Portland next year as part of an arts and lecture series. I'll have to read his book myself, anticipating I'll want to catch his visit. Thanks for the recommendation.

Misha said...

Sounds like great reads. :-) Just dropped by to say hi from the Challenge. Will be around again. *waves*