Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Sunday Salon... The Enduring Power of Love

Welcome to The Sunday Salon! Another beautiful Sunday here in Connecticut. I'm on vacation and relaxing a bit. I was also able to make a trip to my favorite Indie Bookshop! The Hickory Stick Bookshop in Washington Depot, CT. It's about a 40 minute drive, which means I don't go there too often, but just love it when I can make the time. And it's really the only good bookstore near me to go to now. So, while I was enjoying myself leafing through the pages of books, I naturally found some interesting new reads to talk about... The enduring power of love. As the world changes around us, love happens and can stay with us forever. Here are some books just about that...

The Love of My Youth by Mary Gordon... From the Publisher, "a beautifully choreographed novel about first lovers meeting again after more than thirty years and reimmersing themselves in their shared past. Miranda and Adam, high-school sweethearts now in their late fifties, arrive by chance at the same time in Rome, a city where they once spent a summer deeply in love, living together blissfully. At an awkward reunion, the two—who parted in an atmosphere of passionate betrayal in the 1960s and haven’t seen each other since—are surprised to discover that they may have something to talk about. Both have their own guilt, their sense of who betrayed whom, and their long-held interpretation of the events that caused them not to marry and to split apart into the lives they’ve led since—both are married to others, with grown children. For the few weeks they are in Rome, Adam suggests that they meet for daily walks and get to know each other again. Gradually, as they take in the pleasures of the city and the drama of its streets, they discover not only what matters to them now but also more about what happened to them long ago. Miranda and Adam are masterfully portrayed characters, intent upon understanding who they are in relation to who they were. A story about what first love means and how it is shattered, and the lessons old lovers may still have to share with each other many years later, The Love of My Youth is also a poignant look back at the hopes and dreams of a generation and what became of them.

What if you could revisit someone from your past? How do you think things would have changed? Picked this book up because I just had to find out about how these two young lovers see things in the present day as older, wiser, and mature adults.

Next toLove by Ellen Feldman... "A story of love, war, loss, and the scars they leave, Next to Love follows the lives of three young women and their men during the years of World War II and its aftermath, beginning with the men going off to war and ending a generation later, when their children are on the cusp of their own adulthood. Set in a small town in Massachusetts, the novel follows three childhood friends, Babe, Millie, and Grace, whose lives are unmoored when their men are called to duty. And yet the changes that are thrust upon them move them in directions they never dreamed possible—while their husbands and boyfriends are enduring their own transformations. In the decades that follow, the three friends lose their innocence, struggle to raise their children, and find meaning and love in unexpected places. And as they change, so does America—from a country in which people know their place in the social hierarchy to a world in which feminism, the Civil Rights movement, and technological innovations present new possibilities—and uncertainties. And yet Babe, Millie, and Grace remain bonded by their past, even as their children grow up and away and a new society rises from the ashes of the war. Beautifully crafted and unforgettable, Next to Love depicts the enduring power of love and friendship, and illuminates a transformational moment in American history."

A family saga, lifelong friendships, loved ones going off to war, all with a helping of history makes this an interesting choice to me. Love reading about women friendships, because they are usually deep and powerful. I received a copy of Next to Love by Ellen Feldman from Random House and I'm eager to crack the spine soon!

The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes... "It is 1960. When Jennifer Stirling wakes up in the hospital, she can remember nothing-not the tragic car accident that put her there, not her husband, not even who she is. She feels like a stranger in her own life until she stumbles upon an impassioned letter, signed simply B", asking her to leave her husband. Years later, in 2003, a journalist named Ellie discovers the same enigmatic letter in a forgotten file in her newspaper's archives. She becomes obsessed by the story and hopeful that it can resurrect her faltering career. Perhaps if these lovers had a happy ending she will find one to her own complicated love life, too. Ellie's search will rewrite history and help her see the truth about her own modern romance."

Does love endure for these two lovers? I would love to find out! Intriguing is how Ellie has possession of the letter, and the story behind the letter as well! Now on my wishlist!

So is past romances revisited sound intriguing to you? Ever wonder, what if? Well, these books should satisfy any reader with a romantic heart. What else have you been reading lately?! Please share those great finds! I always love a book recommendation from a person who loves to read!

Have a great week! Happy reading... Suzanne


Booksnyc said...

Is Washington Depot the town that the Gilmore Girls Stars Hollow was based on?

I have Next To Love to read too and am very excited to get into it.

Marg said...

I want to read Next to Love soon, and I loved the Last Letter from your Lover when I read it a few months ago!

Enjoy your books.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Nice list of books. Thank you for the reviews!

Here's my Sunday Salon: In Which I Travel to Bhutan and the North Pole, with a Stop at a Convenience Store in Brooklyn. I hope you will stop by. Also, don't forget to enter my July Giveaway.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I thought The Love of my Youth was a good one.

Tea said...

I am learning all about "the enduring power of love." It's a powerful and ongoing lesson. Luv all of your books. Glad you had a chance to visit your favorite Indie Book Store.

Lisa said...

I used to really love to read books about love but I have such a hard time finding books now that have a fresh story. But if I'm in the right mood... then I don't care at all, I love 'em anyway!

Elizabeth said...

I read and reviewed NEXT TO LOVE....absolutely loved it.


Stop by my blog if you like...lots of book reviews and photos of Scotland.


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