A book by a very favorite author in our Library has been reissued to the delight of all his faithful readers. The book, MIRACLE CURE by Harlan Coben was listed as his second published book which he had written while he was still quite young, being barely twenty years old. The author also states that the book was not based on a “real-life” occurrence, although it is easy to form that opinion as you read the book.
Coben tells the story of a group of doctors doing research and treatment of AIDS and the HIV sickness in their Manhattan Clinic. He also tells the story of a very popular basketball player, who somehow becomes tainted with HIV. The player’s popularity plummets as his sickness is publicized, and he and his wife strive to rebuild their life following the diagnosis. And when other patients in the Clinic are unexplainably killed, the plot “thickens”, and the reader becomes totally engrossed.
Coben has also a character by the name of Myron Bolitar and has written a number of books in that series. He has also written several “stand-alone” plots that are, in my opinion, far superior to his series. But that is for the reader to decide.
A completely change of pace was Philippa Gregory’s book, THE VIRGIN’S LOVER, the story of Elizabeth I and her long standing affair with Robert Dudley, a childhood friend. Despite the pressure upon Elizabeth to marry a prince to govern England, Elizabeth tactfully refuses to marry; though at times she really isn’t that tactful. Her reasoning to stay single is that she refuses to share the Crown with a man, and additionally, she has become too involved with Dudley. Then the unexplained and sudden death of Dudley’s wife further complicates Elizabeth’s life, yet despite constant rumors throughout the Court, she attempts to put Dudley aside and continue with her reign.
A fascinating book filled with real life character after character in the English Court, Ms. Gregory has the talent of thorough research and clear writing so that the reader does not feel overwhelmed with a long list of characters.
But the book I found the most challenging and riveting was NARROWS GATE by Jim Fusilli. The title describes a community on the waterfront near New York City, which is actually Hoboken, New Jersey. Populated with Italian-American families, primarily Sicilian, we read about the rise and fall of a skinny blue-eyed crooner; another who is hiding his background and ethnicity and the involvement of a portion of the Mob in every-day life.
The character Bebe Marsala is the loosely described real-life Frank Sinatra, and the book details his ups and downs. The cruelty of members of the “Mob” in enforcing their rules or making a statement is detailed, in somewhat too much detail. The plot reaches out and grabs you and the characters are so well-drawn that if you lived in the Eastern part of our country, you would probably be able to name them. I’m curious as to what other books Mr. Fusilli has written, and if they all approach the same quality as this one. Not a book to read lightly, but a very enjoyable one too.
Just a quickie: we have an unbelievable array of books for purchase at our Library, both hard cover and soft cover, of all types of fiction and even nonfiction. Come see us before you take your trip!
“When an old person dies, a Library burns down”