Monday, November 9, 2015

Staff Picks

When a story really captures my imagination I'll read the novel and listen to the audio-book both.  I love to hear how the narrator brings the characters to life but I also want to read the story in the original form.  The latest book to warrant so much attention is The Echo Maker by Richard Powers.

This National Book Award winning story takes place in the year following the 9-11 attacks.  With the nation still recovering from the shock, twenty-something Mark Schluter survives a horrific accident but suffers memory loss in the aftermath.  A rare condition called Capgras Syndrome leaves Mark convinced that his sister Karin is an impostor.   Even after months of recovery Mark is unable to view Karin as his “real” sister.   Tragically, they’re the only family either of them has left and out of desperation Karin contacts author/researcher Gerald Weber for some expert advice.  But outside of his comfort zone in rural Nebraska (a surprisingly evocative setting thanks to Power's descriptions of the dancing sandhill cranes and the "sideways" Platte River)  Dr. Weber faces a crisis of his own.

The Echo Maker explores small town life, the nature of family, and how much perceptions (and misconceptions) can impact our lives.  Bernadette Dunne's thoughtful rendition strikes just the right chord for this cerebral mystery.

Alicia Cavitt
Information Specialist