Friday, December 15, 2006

Preliminary Thoughts on An Unfinished Season by Ward Just

I've been reading a lot of crap and long-drawn-out epics lately, including at least one book that I enjoyed (though I wouldn't add "thoroughly"). I hope to find the time to describe them in more detail. But first I want to recognize a book that is making me happy to be a reader again. An Unfinished Season isn't something I'd normally pick up and read, because its characters are essentially wealthy people and I've never understood them. Set in post-war Chicago (that's World War II, for young readers -- post-war eras of wars we lose don't get such wistful nostalgia created around them), it's a tale about a family that is evolving. The mother is old money from the East, the father is new money, and the 19-year-old son is finding his place somewhere between the two. Enmeshed within Ward Just's well-crafted tale of a challenged marriage and a coming-of-age young man is the whole Cold War battle between capitalism and socialism; free thinking and free love vs. uncontemplative complacency and staid mores.

I'll have more to say about this book, but I'm not even 100 pages in yet. Regardless, I highly recommend it so far.

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