Monday, September 14, 2009

Book Review Monday

The blogger rarely reads brand new books. One of the reasons is that they tend not to be sitting in the donation bin! The blogger will confess that after working at the book sale and purchasing hardcover books with dust jackets for $1.50, she is hard pressed to pay retail OR wait on the hold list for most books. So when a book jumps into her hand from the donation bin, she usually feels compelled to read it.

This book, East of the Mountains by David Guterson, is one of those books. It is the story of a retired heart surgeon, Ben Givens, who has been traumatized by life. He has lost his beloved wife, and now his own body is riddled with terminal cancer. As a physician, he is fully aware of the messy clinical death that awaits him and he resolves to avoid it. Further, he resolves to spare anyone else (including his daughter and grandson) that experience.

A long time hunter, Ben decides to go out for one last hunting trip with his dogs during which he plans to take his own life, making it look like a hunting accident. But life has a funny way of intervening with our own will to end it, and Ben is drawn back from the brink through a series of events that connect his still-living heart to the hearts of others he meets along the way.

This book is a stark confrontation with the reality many try to avoid. We will all die, but how we choose to live is the legacy we pass on. Thinking through these things is part of what makes us human.

The book is worth reading, and copies will be be available for sale, along with zillions of other books, at the Semi-Annual Used Book Sale at Reston Regional Library, beginning September 23 with Friends Night. Not a member? Use the sidebar to become one or to renew. That will get you in at 5 p.m. on Wednesday night. On Thursday, September 24, we'll open to the General Public at 10 a.m. See ya then!

Comments, questions, suggestions? E-mail us or comment!


1 comment :

Akelamalu said...

That sounds like the sort of book I would enjoy. :)

Thanks for your lovely comments re my accident. x