August 02, 2012

by nightfall by michael cunningham


Do you remember "The Hours"?
It was that really good movie about Virginia Woolf
and Meryl Streep was in it.
It was also based on a book of the same name
by Michael Cunningham.
I bought that book
I think at a yard sale
but I never read it.
I can't explain why
I just didn't.
And so -
I picked up By Nightfall one day at the bookstore.
Read the dust jacket
read the first few pages
though - I must have it.
But I put it down, having decided that I could wait till it was cheaper.
Then I forgot all about it.
I was at one of my favorite discount bookstores and saw a copy
and did the exact same thing I did the first time
but this time - I made it mine.
That was about 4 months ago.
I've read some great books this summer
and the time was right to crack this one.
It's about a couple - Peter and Rebecca Harris, who live in New York.
They are successful and have a comfortable life
They are in their 40's and are mostly content
but not entirely.
Rebecca's brother shows up
and wreaks havoc
in strange, strange ways.
He shakes them up
and changes everything.

Sometimes I get tired of hearing about New York.
How great it is
how special it is
how special and great everyone is who lives there.

But this New York book
was different.
It's a really interesting story.
Not a lot happens, really
but reading how Peter (it's mostly about Peter) sees things
and how he interracts and feels -
it's so....human and flawed
and well, understandable.
It's a sweet little book
and he is such a good writer - intelligent and quiet
and cutting.
He kind of reminds me of Richard Yates.
And now I want to read more.
It's always a great discovery
to discover something new and wondrous.

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