Today, it’s considered one of the “Great American Novels” and a literary classic. The Modern Library, for example, ranks it as the second best English-language novel of the 20th Century; however, the book was challenged at the Baptist College in Charleston, S.C. in 1987 because of ‘language and sexual references in the book.
Book Club choices: Our Pierson Book Club members have selected their readings for the coming month: The Tuesday night book club which will next meet at 6:30 pm on October 15 has chosen Serena by Ron Rash. Bookmarks Magazine wrote, “In this beautifully written gothic novel, Rash paints an unforgettable portrait of a truly frightening woman, an Ayn Rand [character] taken to sociopathic extremes” (Christian Science Monitor). Drawing comparisons to Lady Macbeth and Medea, critics were repulsed and fascinated by Serena. Though some felt that her wickedness, undiluted by the slightest pangs of compassion or empathy, crossed into the realm of caricature toward the end, they all agreed that it was impossible to put the book down. Serena is not overtly political, despite a depraved doctor named Cheney, but it does provide a stinging indictment of the devastation wrought by greed, unfettered capitalism, and the misuse of power. Readers will be haunted by this extraordinary novel long after the final page is turned.”
The Wednesday morning book club, which will next meet at 10:30 am on Oct.16, chose ”The Light Between Oceans” by M.L. Stedman. Selected as the Amazon Best Books of August 2012, it was described as follows: “Tom Sherbourne is a lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, a tiny island a half day’s boat journey from the coast of Western Australia. When a baby washes up in a rowboat, he and his young wife Isabel decide to raise the child as their own. The baby seems like a gift from God, and the couple’s reasoning for keeping her seduces the reader into entering the waters of treacherous morality even as Tom — whose moral code withstood the horrors of World War I — begins to waver. M. L. Stedman’s vivid characters and gorgeous descriptions of the solitude of Janus Rock and of the unpredictable Australian frontier create a perfect backdrop for the tale of longing, loss, and the overwhelming love for a child that is “The Light Between Oceans.”
If you would like to read either of these books – and join the book club for discussion – call Carol at 985-5124.
Do you have a green thumb? The Pierson is looking for volunteers who would like to help beautify the area outside the library. If you’re willing to assist, please let us know.