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Monday, November 8, 2021

Anticipating The Divine

A novel as uniformly excellent as A Children's Bible (2020) could spoil me, if I let it. Lydia Millet's dystopian tale is so transfixing I was initially worried after finishing it that my tolerance for tedium might be permanently altered. What was the last novel you read that grabbed you by the throat with its first sentence and then never let you go? 

Having several discerning readers in my life is a gift. If not for a recommendation from one of those readers, Millet's ripe and compelling book could have gotten by me. And the discussion I had with this same reader deepened my appreciation for the author's mastery and command of her material and chastened me as we spoke about being spoiled by a great book like this. I decided being spoiled could easily curdle into cynicism if I'm not careful. 

For every poorly crafted, tedious book - and there are plenty of those - my friend gently reminded me there are many divine ones - like A Children's Bible - waiting to be discovered and discussed. I was elevated by her words. I look forward to a reading future full of divine treasures awaiting discovery. 

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