Great (Summer) Read. This is one of those books that is a great read at any time of the year, but by the end feels particularly like the great “end of summer” movies of old such as American Pie. Largely taking place over the course of one summer, with its titular event the week after Labor Day, this book follows three former high school friends as they rediscover themselves and each other now in their early 30s. Dorey-Stein does a remarkable job of showing inherently flawed – and thus, realistic – characters just trying to live their lives and rebuild old friendships in the wake of various personal tragedies and struggles, all with a smattering of laugh out loud hilarity and heart breaking poignancy. One of those books and stories with a great deal of catharsis and resetting, perfect for the “let’s get back to work” period there at the end of summer – or any time one needs such a feeling. Very much recommended.
Can A Story About Music Pack a Punch? Because this one does. This is the story of a musician who truly lives for his music, his daughter who inherits his passion, the luthier that maintains the cello they love… and the mystical cello itself that seems to have a soul of its own. It is a story of lost virginity and teenage suicidal tendencies and death – lots and lots of death, and all of its fallout on the living. It is a story of alcoholism, with some strong commentary about the effectiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous and an idea that just might work a bit better. And it is a story of the love that connects it all, that consumes it all. That makes you give… every thing you are. Very much recommended.