LitPicks Book Reviews—October 2008

Theme—Quiet Intimacy
Some books speak to us softly. They peer into the corners of our lives and private matters of the heart. Plot, moving slowly but gracefully, is secondary to characters and relationships. These works are quiet but remarkable.
Labels: A Lighter Touch


Marilyn Robinson, 2004
247 pp.

Book Review by Molly Lundquist
October 2008

A treasure of a book. While based upon Biblical scripture, it's illuminating for any faith. It is about the requirement of living up to the best parts of ourselves—and about the blessing and awe and mystery of all existence. It's a lot packed into a fairly small book.

The Reverend John Ames, 76 when the book opens, takes it upon himself to write a series of letters in the hope that when death over takes him—sooner, he believes, rather than later—his very young son will have a personal record of his father and the faith that has informed his life and work.


Joshua Henkin, 2007
291 pp.

Book Review by Molly Lundquist
October 2008

My friend Eddie once said (we were on the cusp of middle age) that we run from our roots while young, only to run back to them as we mature. I think that's a lot of what this very fine book explores.

The story's main characters meet in college—all three determined to put family influences behind them, create their own identities, and set their own life paths.
Labels: Great Works


To the Lighthouse
Virginia Woolf, 1927
309 pp.

Book Review by Molly Lundquist
October 2008

Family and guests gather at a rambling seaside cottage, time passes and, 10 years later, father, son and daughter take a boat trip out to a light house. There you have the sum total of plot in Virginia Woolf's famed novel.

Characters and their individual perception are what intrigue Woolf, not plot—and in Lighthouseshe gives full rein to her modernist ideas: reality is subjective, life is transient, truth and certainty are unattainable. It is only art that offers an antidote to an ever changing, death-threatening world.

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