I’ve counted approximately 1500 +++ emails in the last 15 hours—messages of doom; heralds of apocalypse or revolution; urgent, plaintive pleas for my time, my interest, my dollars, my soul. It’s election day – mid-terms eliciting the fervor of 19th century religious revivals! Unlike those steely-eyed, great-voiced reverends who once preached the good news to gathered Americans, today’s pundit/politicos/prognosticators have no direct channel to the higher power (no matter what they think/say). Unlike the Trueba family in this month’s novel, I likewise have no access to what will be and so I’ll just wait till the dust settles to learn whether the spirits have smiled my way. I suggest you spend the day with a spirited cup and get a start on our book for November:
THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS by Isabel Allende,[masked] pages The Truebas are estate-owners of independent wealth … Headstrong and conservative, Esteban is a piggish youth, mistreating his peons and casually raping his girl servants . . . until he falls under the spell of young Clara DelValle: mute for nine years after witnessing the gruesome autopsy of her equally delicate sister, Clara is capable of telekinesis and soothsaying; she's a pure creature of the upper realms who has somehow dropped into crude daily life. So, with opposites attracting, the marriage of Esteban and Clara is inevitable--as is the succession of Clara-influenced children and grandchildren. …Alba, the last clairvoyant female of the lineage, will end the novel in a concentration camp of the Pinochet regime. Allende handles the theosophical elements here matter-of-factly: the paranormal powers of the Trueba women have to be taken more or less on faith. … there's a comfortable, appealing professionalism to Allende's narration, slowly turning the years through the Truebas' passions and secrets and fidelities. She doesn't rush; the characters are clear and sharp; there's style here but nothing self-conscious or pretentious….it's uncommonly satisfying--with sturdy, old-fashioned storytelling and a fine array of exotic, historical shadings. (Kirkus Reviews) “The only cause The House of the Spirits embraces is that of humanity, and it does so with such passion, humor, and wisdom that in the end it transcends politics…The result is a novel of force and charm, spaciousness and vigor. (The Washington Post) https://www.nytimes.com/1985/05/09/books/books-of-the-times-226293.html
New Orleans Public Library and Jefferson Parish library have multiple copies in several formats. Watching the film just doesn’t count!
No meeting in December—you’ll be partying much to much for boozy books. But keep a lookout for a request for book titles to launch 2019…. if 2019 dare take flight.
As always, I plead with you DO NOT RSVP UNLESS YOU PLAN TO READ THE BOOK AND ATTEND!