Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunday Salon, History of Now--- Book Giveaway

The Sunday

Our area is getting ready for the "big" snowstorm due on our doorstep tonight and tomorrow. If so I might be shoveling 8-10 inches tomorrow. In any event, sorry I am late posting my Sunday Salon, my grad course has me busy, busy, busy. This week I've been reading Little Women, from a historical context. I have a presentation on Wednesday, so my Sunday Salon time got bumped this week. I have to work when I'm most alert...mornings:)

Giveaway for The History of Now by Daniel Klein

A while ago I wrote a review about this awesome novel. I am pretty sure many of you would really like it. Today was the release date for the book. To celebrate this event I am raffling off a new ARC copy of the book.(USA Residents only) The review is below for those who have not had a chance to read it.

Rules: Please leave a comment on today's post about the review and I will enter your name in the raffle. If you blog about the raffle on your site, I will give you two additional raffle chances. That would be THREE chances.Woo Hoo!!! Anytime you visit my blog until March 15th and leave a comment you will get another chance to win. When my package comes to your mailbox you will smile. The contest will run through March 15th midnight. Good Luck.
ARC compliments of Permanent Press.

The History of Now by Daniel Klein

March 1, 2009, HC, 296 pages
ISBN 1579621813

Have you ever thought your life was so average that no one would want to read about it? Daniel Klein dispels that myth in his new book,The History of Now as he tells the story of a somewhat typical family living in Grandville, Massachusetts. The town is the quintessential image of bucolic New England. As the story unfolds you quickly become enmeshed in the ordinary yet extraordinary sequence of events that are destined to become Now.

Wendel deVries is a 65 year old divorcee who runs the projector at the local Phoenix theater. Before his divorce he had a daughter Franny. His daughter Franny, suffers from a lack of self-esteem and confidence. Her daughter Lila, is a recalcitrant pot smoking lazy high school teen coupled with a strained mother daughter relationship. Since Lila has never known her father, grandfather Wendel is the closest to a father she has had. Wendel moves on with his life and surprisingly one day meets someone and they fall in love.

Meanwhile, somewhere in South America a young boy named Hector flees to Miami with hopes of starting a new life. One day in class, Lila learns that years ago, nineteenth century, there were deVries in Grandville who were African American. With impish amusement she questions her grandfather hoping to discover the validity of her teacher’s historical findings. Were there slaves in her family tree? Could she have black relatives and possibly relatives who owned slaves?

Klein’s novel is the story of the lives of these people and how they will ultimately connect. Philosophically, who cares? Well, the story would be no story if the lives of many people did not happen before those who live now. Sound confusing? It is a cause and effect model shaped in the beliefs of David Hume. Now is now because it was destined to happen because of the history that came before it.

The orchestral piece Bolero comes to mind as I read this book. The novel begins with a diminutive and simple opening and as each person, each layer, each cause to the effect is added the pulse slowly builds, gradually increasing in complexity. Discord and a cacophony of drama comes together toward the middle as each person becomes more conscious of their life and their actions. The past is revealed through a series of flashbacks, but still, like the composer Ravel, the author Klein, carefully scaffolds the story to a perfect climax and then conclusion.

What I enjoyed about this book was that it is so ordinary, so believable, that anyone wanting to write their story can visualize their own chronology of history a book. It is also idiosyncratic as you reflect upon the author’s philosophical dogma, making this a noteworthy novel of Now. Let’s hope there is a short wait for book two in this trilogy.

Wisteria Leigh

Permanent Press Website


troutbirder said...

I love reading and reading about books - especially history, biography and historical fiction. I did a light-hearted "review" on Agincourt some weeks back and wonder if you had a post on it someplace. Also I am a huge fan of Sharon Kay Penman. Thanks

wisteria said...

Hi troutbirder....Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I did a review on Agincourt and hear is a review link from this blog.

I love Sharon Kay Penman also...I haven't reviewed anything of hers...I pretty much love all her books. :)

Literary Feline said...

More snow! I hope you didn't get nearly as much as was predicted. I hate to think of you out there shoveling all that snow.

I would like to be entered into your giveaway, Wisteria, for The History of Now. It sounds like an interesting novel. The interconnectedness of the layers of history remind me of throwing a stone on water and watching it ripple as it bounces off the surface. A ripple effect of sorts. Anyhow, I like stories that seem ordinary on the surface, but when you dig a little deeper into them, they aren't so ordinary after all.

mindy said...

thanks for the wonderful giveaway this sounds like an awesome read

Lady Roxi said...

I would love to read this.


The Bookworm said...

The History of Now sounds amazing wisteria! I'll blog about it to spread the word. No need to enter me hun, i've already gotten lucky and won one of your awesome raffles.

scottsgal said...

sounds awesome - thanks for the giveaway

msboatgal at aol dot com

A Reader said...

I think the part that ordinary is extraordinary grabs me.
Thanks for the giveaway!

Kristi said...

Ok - I want to know the history of this family just from reading your review. And then you tell us that it is the beginning of a trilogy! Definitely enter me in your drawing!

kherbrand at comcast dot net

Anonymous said...

I love a book that makes good cross connections between people, people who seem to have nothing in common. Coming from a Mormon family, it's very important to stay up on your genealogy... very valuable.

Blogged your contest:


Sage Ravenwood said...

I would love to be entered for this drawing. Reading a book of normal circumstances that becomes the story of life being lived sounds perfect. I'm often told in various degrees by readers of my own blog I should write a book...easier said than done. My life has it's own elements of surreal, one of the reasons reading about normal appeals to me. Thanks! Indigo

Anita Yancey said...

I love the review. I really like the fact that the story connects to history. The book will indeed be a good read. Please enter me for a chance. Thanks for having this giveaway.


Leslie said...

The book sounds wonderful. I really don't like when people think that they or their existence is average or less than something. I have always felt that every single person is special and has the potential to do great things inside of them, if they only let themselves do so. I think that I would very much enjoy reading this book. Thank you.

Unknown said...

What a fascinating read! Thank you for the insightful review, this book is on my to-read list now.

terri142 said...

Sounds like a great book, please enter me