I finished the second of two books I didn’t think I’d like yesterday. And I liked them both.
“North River” by Pete Hamill is about a doctor in Depression-era New York who comes home one day to find his daughter has abandoned her child on his doorstep. The doctor is haunted by the disappearance of his wife and his horrible memories of the recent World War. He’s also threatened by what amounts to the local mob. I didn’t think this sounded particularly cheerful. But it’s actually a lovely, sweet story with charming characters and a just-right ending. I really liked it and would highly recommend it.
The second book I thought I would like initially. It’s “The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters” by Elisabeth Robinson. After reading the title and the jacket I was very interested. Then I flipped the book open and realized it’s entirely composed of letters, notes, memos and e-mails from the main character to the people in her life. Yuck. How good could that be? Turns out it was pretty great. And I have to admire a writer who can develop strong characters that we only meet through another character’s point of view. Bravo! It’s about a woman who’s trying to produce a major movie while her sister is battling leukemia. Fun Hollywood insights and poignant family scenes. Yummy!
Ironically, both of these books were sent to me by my mother. You know, the woman who said, “try it, you might like it,” when she fed me something new. Well, I tried these two and, like lima beans, turns out I’m a fan. Thanks mom.
Now go out there and try something you think you might not like.