Thursday, March 23, 2017

Princes of Maine, Kings of New England

One of my favorite books of all time is The Cider House Rules.  Often when I see a movie after I read the book, I am disappointed. I cannot remember exactly what my reaction was when I first saw the movie version of The Cider House Rules, but I recall, vaguely, that I thought it was the exception to the rule.  I was flipping the channels tonight and saw the movie again from nearly the beginning.

It is such a good story.  We are not beholden to someone else's rules. It is our job to find out what our business is, and to be active in whatever it may be.  Someone posts rules in a cider house who does not live in the cider house? Why should we adhere to them.  Why should we assume they are the right rules, particularly when they do not seem to make sense.

If you have never read the book and you are a reader, go get it from the library. If it wasn't for the fact that the story centers in large part about an orphanage that, on the down low, is also an abortion clinic--I believe the novel would be required reading throughout the land--at least in blue states.  If you are not a reader, take out the movie.  Tobey Maguire is great as Homer.  Michael Caine is at his best as Dr. Larch.  Charlize Theron is terrific.  Likewise Delroy Lindo.

I just finished a fast read--nothing of the calibre of The Cider House Rules, but better than decent. I picked it up because I'd read another novel by the author which I was not crazy about--but was a fast read, and I did not feel like working hard.  The book, Range of Motion, is about a woman whose husband is felled by a shard of ice that falls on his head. He is in a coma and the story, written mostly from the perspective of the wife, is about how she deals with her children and her new life without her love. There is an interesting side story with her neighbor who suspects her own husband of infidelity. This is the third novel that Elizabeth Berg wrote and one of the ones that brought her the acclaim she now enjoys.  If you feel like you want a book to jump start your reading, you can knock this off easy in a couple of days and figure, subsequently, that reading the book was worth your while.

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