In this radiant homage to the resiliency, strength, and power of women, Wally Lamb--author of numerous New York Times bestselling novels including She's Come Undone, I Know This Much is True, and We Are Water--weaves an evocative, deeply affecting tapestry of one Baby Boomer's life and the trio of unforgettable women who have changed it.
I'll Take You There centers on Felix, a film scholar who runs a Monday night movie club in what was once a vaudeville theater. One evening, while setting up a film in the projectionist booth, he's confronted by the ghost of Lois Weber, a trailblazing motion picture director from Hollywood's silent film era. Lois invites Felix to revisit--and in some cases relive--scenes from his past as they are projected onto the cinema's big screen.
In these magical movies, the medium of film becomes the lens for Felix to reflect on the women who profoundly impacted his life. There's his daughter Aliza, a Gen Y writer for New York Magazine who is trying to align her post-modern feminist beliefs with her lofty career ambitions; his sister, Frances, with whom he once shared a complicated bond of kindness and cruelty; and Verna, a fiery would-be contender for the 1951 Miss Rheingold competition, a beauty contest sponsored by a Brooklyn-based beer manufacturer that became a marketing phenomenon for two decades. At first unnerved by these ethereal apparitions, Felix comes to look forward to his encounters with Lois, who is later joined by the spirits of other celluloid muses.
Against the backdrop of a kaleidoscopic convergence of politics and pop culture, family secrets, and Hollywood iconography, Felix gains an enlightened understanding of the pressures and trials of the women closest to him, and of the feminine ideals and feminist realities that all women, of every era, must face.
This item is Non-Returnable
- ISBN-13: 9780062656308
- ISBN-10: 0062656309
- Publisher: Harper Perennial
- Publish Date: November 2017
- Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.4 pounds
- Page Count: 272
Book clubs: This is your life
Wally Lamb explores the ways in which the past impacts the present in his moving novel I’ll Take You There. Felix Funicello is a film buff who hosts a weekly movie event in an old cinema. One night in the theater, Felix is visited by two ghosts: Lois Weber, a pioneering silent-film director, and Billie Dove, who starred in one of Lois’ movies. The two spirits invite Felix to observe chapters from his past by watching them on the theater’s screen. The scenes feature the women who have most influenced him, including his daughter, aspiring writer Aliza, and his adopted sister, Frances. Initially, Felix is unsettled by his interactions with the ghosts, but he begins to anticipate their visits. Lamb uses the movie screening as a powerful narrative device—it’s an effective way of exploring Felix’s personal history—and his ghosts from the bygone days of Hollywood are wonderfully convincing. This is a rich and powerful novel that’s sure to satisfy Lamb’s many fans.
A HOUSE OF STRANGERS
A finalist for the Man Booker International Prize, Amos Oz’s poignant novel Judas takes place in Jerusalem in the 1950s. A young scholar in search of himself, Shmuel Ash is recovering from a breakup when he goes to work as a live-in attendant to gruff, elderly Gershom Wald, a former schoolteacher. Atalia Abravanel, an older woman whose late father was a Zionist organizer, also lives in Gershom’s apartment. Shmuel is captivated by Atalia, who remains elusive to him despite the close quarters. As time goes by, the three housemates—all very different, all trying to make sense of the past—learn more about one another and the connections that bind them. Oz delivers a timeless story of love, identity and the search for self in this beautifully rendered novel. Presenting fascinating insights into the nation of Israel—his home country—while taking inspiration from the traditional story of Judas, Oz constructs a multilayered narrative that’s provocative and rewarding.
TOP PICK FOR BOOK CLUBS
The Keeper of Lost Things, the impressive debut novel from British author Ruth Hogan, is a stirring exploration of love, the passage of time and the experiences—and objects—that inform everyday life. Anthony Peardew is filled with regret after he misplaces a gift he received from his fiancée, Therese. When she unexpectedly dies, he begins collecting abandoned items—gloves, umbrellas, buttons—and writing stories inspired by them. After 40 years of collecting, Anthony, now an elderly man, bestows his home and assemblage of objects upon his assistant, Laura. Single and somewhat at loose ends, Laura finds a new sense of purpose when she takes over Anthony’s estate, where her duties include returning Anthony’s items to their original owners. A beautifully crafted novel from a promising new writer, this is a narrative that holds many surprises. It’s a delightful read that’s just right for December.