Thursday, October 11, 2007


You might not have been able to tell from my previous post of October 3rd that I had not yet finished Russo's new novel. But, alas, it doesn't matter because, although there were plenty of surprises, the book delivered in every way.

This novel is remarkably conceived and executed. Many times I felt that the author was going out on a tangential limb (and taking readers with him), one which we would all regret scaling. But, invariably, each limb would weave effortlessly into a web of other branches laid out previously with either reckless abandon or great faith, quite possibly both.

The main character of this transcendent novel, Lucy Lynch is, like his father, a terminal optimist and a believer in the idea that what you see in life is pretty much what you get. Despite his mother Tessa's continuing attempts to teach them both that one cannot always trust people, that life is full of nasty surprises, that a healthy cynicism is necessary to survival and that the depressed little upstate town of Thomaston, New York is no place to thrive or get a sense of life's possibilities, the two go about their own lives contentedly and creating a kind of oasis for their friends and family.

The oasis comes in the form of "Ikey Lubins" a corner market that Lucy's dad, Lou, buys in a moment of what most people, including Tessa, would call an act of stupidity. Tessa declares that she will never step foot inside the store and, for a long time, she doesn't. But, inevitably, Tessa's intelligence and common sense are necessary to the store's survival.

A wonderful book. I recommend it!

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