April 18, 2012

Bookworm Wednesday

Last night I finished the book "Mary and O'Neil" written by Justin Cronin, who won the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Stephen Crane Prize for this, his first novel. Cronin is a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop MFA program, which I've discovered is seemingly synonymous with "writing genius." Every time I pick up a book by someone who's come out of that program I am blown away by their talent. 

Though it says the book is a novel made up of a series of short stories I can't imagine not reading this book straight through from start to finish. Yes, the stories bump you around in time a bit, but the characters are all interrelated and ultimately all family. Just like real life, the stories each of them carries from their youth shape who they are and how they relate in life.

"Mary and O'Neil" is beautiful. The characters are real and complex, dealing with all of life's truest moments – the emotion in watching your children begin their own lives, the delicate intricacies of marriage, the instances when things are forever changed, the healing miracle of birth, the emptiness of death, and the depth of love. The story of these characters is as ordinary as any of our lives, and it is as extraordinary as any of our lives.

Heartbreaking and heartwarming all at once, I loved this book.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comments. Hearing from you makes my day!