Sunday, April 15, 2012

A River So Long

I just spent the weekend with a woman who travels a lot. Her name is Veronica and I tagged along as she hopscotched between Phoenix, Boston, New York, Memphis, New Orleans, Birmingham, and Raleigh.

We visited Jamaica a couple of times, too, but that was before.

Along the way I met her husband, her cousin, her colleagues, a couple of old boyfriends, and various strangers and oddballs.

I never did learn what Veronica does for a living but I know her job requires her to be on the road a lot.

I could only guess what she was thinking.

Veronica is the protagonist of Vallie Lynn Watson's unconventional debut novel, A River So Long.

It's a trip.

Get on board.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Sense of an Ending

Julian Barnes' short novel, The Sense of an Ending, is a fascinating mediation on perception, memory, and the nature of history.

It looks at how history is told and why it is retold, even when the history is our own. It shows us, through the late-life reflections of its narrator, why we must continually re-examine our understanding of events in the light of new evidence and unexpected revelations.

We may be surprised to learn that things were not as we thought they were, and we are not who we think we are.