Chabon’s newest book, Moonglow is a literary treat. It’s a departure from a regular novel in that it is, at least in part, biographical. The novel follows Chabon as he sits with his grandfather during his grandfather’s last days. His grandfather tells him stories about his life and Chabon is able to piece together the past based on stories he’s heard and the new stories and retellings his grandfather tells him during these final moments. The book begins with an Author’s Note that is fitting for a memoir that isn’t necessarily a memoir, but one that reads more like a novel, “I have stuck to the facts except when facts refused to conform with memory, narrative purpose, or the truth as I prefer to understand it. Wherever liberties have been taken with names, dates, places, events, and conversations, or with identities, motivations, and interrelationships of family members and historical personages, the reader is assured that they have been taken with due abandon.” This declaimer of sorts sets the reader up for one very engaging novel.
The private life of cats…who knew? Well, I suppose anyone who’s ever been a companion to a cat would have some idea, at least. But I suspect that just as with the 2-leggeds, some cats are more out-going than others.
Alba is an extrovert, if ever there was one! Happy to be with others of her own kind, or the 2-leggeds who are friends with her own such person, Lorna. There’s Nikki, the art conservator, and Puma, a big tawny male, and David, an attorney, who shares his home with Goliath, also large, but black male. Lorna seems to do something that involves her computer, whether at home or the office. Lorna and David live in a duplex, but not together, although they both apparently work in Washington, D. C. Nikki has her own home in Virginia, which is big enough for her workshop.
It’s been a very long time, probably since I was a little girl, since I read a book centered around the ballet. Even as an adult though, I still harbor a certain fascination for the art. I try as often as I can to at least see The Nutcracker at Christmas, and I’m only somewhat ashamed to say that on any given day you can find me doing sloppy pirouettes in my kitchen while I’m sweeping. So, I went into this ballet-centric novel with great expectations, especially after the great press it’s been getting. And I must say, I was not disappointed; the dance world and a dramatic family story are neatly rolled into one book.
The story is told in third person narration and the use of flashbacks while also moving forward through time. Our