Book Report #1

Today's show and tell comes from the novel I just finished reading.  Initially I was attracted to the book, not only because it was a National Book Award finalist, but because the author, Scott Spencer, has been called a novelist who knows the human heart better than any other.  

"...[T]hat little shimmering capsule of time is like listening to cello music in the morning, or watching birds in a flutter of industry building a nest, it simply reminds us that even if God is dead, or never existed in the first place, there is, nevertheless, something tender at the center of creation, some meaning, some purpose and poetry."

A Ship Made of Paper has an engaging plot, is beautifully written and has astonishingly fantastic moments.  However,  despite the decent plot, the success of the story relies on the connection between the reader and the characters, and none of the characters are extremely likable.  The novel tells the story of Daniel, a lawyer who has moved from NYC to his hometown after a violent confrontation with one of his black clients.  He brings his girlfriend and her daughter, Ruby.  Without being able to help himself, he falls in love with the mother of Ruby's best friend, Iris, who is both married and black.  He pursues her relentlessly, despite the possible ramifications of his actions, and despite his fear of black people. The two begin an affair which ruins their, and their loved ones, lives.  As a reader, I found it difficult to relate to their self destruction and found the book a depressingly sad and tense cautionary tale of adultery.  

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