I finished The Apprentice Lover by Jay Parini. Alex left Columbia University short of a few units for graduation after his brother got killed in Vietnam and went to Capri to work as a secretary to renown English writer carrying with him a bundle of letters written by his brother while in Vietnam. Alex hopes to examine his life and find himself, learn from the master about writing, and, with the allure of Capri, lessen his grief and anger. The English writer has 2 young attractive women assistants. There are several other colorful characters in the island. The novel teems with life’s conflicts and guilt and tragedy. Enjoyable.
“Funny how good you can feel, though, when you hear certain things, which is probably why you say them. To cheer ourselves up. To make it possible to put one foot in front of another without losing it.” (from the Apprentice Lover)
Maybe I knew it before but seemed I just found out recently how different it sounds when the narrator in the story is by first person. It is as if the narrator is right there in front of me or we are talking seated next to each other or across a table. Or occasionally I feel like I’m the narrator. The Apprentice Lover is in first person narration. The Housekeeper and the Professor is also in first person.
I just returned from the library with : The Life of Meaning, Reflections on Faith, Doubt, and Repairing the World; Dreams and Shadows, the Future of the Middle East by Robin Wright; The Musical Illusionist and Other Tales by Alex Rose.
and from the book shelves of the Friends of the Library (where every book costs $2): I got 84,Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff and Heist Society by Ally Carter (adv as YALSA Teen’s Top Ten 2010).
excerpt from the Introduction to 84, Charing Cross Road written by Ann Bancroft:
“Some years ago, while I was sitting on the beach on Fire Island, a man strolling by approached me. I didn’t know the fellow, so his exclamation- “I’ve just read something that would be perfect for you!”- took me by surprise.
“The next day, as I sat in the same spot, he came my way again, this time with book in hand. His enthusiasm seemed so sincere I couldn’t help but be intrigued. So, soon as he was gone, I opened the small volume he had delivered and started to read. That’s how my romance with 84, Charing Cross Road began.”
I just read someone recommended Q’s Legacy, also by Helene Hanff.
(photos taken in Denver and Denver Art Museum)