Wednesday is the first day of summer, and while it has been cool and rainy recently, this coming week is forecast to actually feel like the start of the season. I’ve got the windows and doors open, and I’m being treated to a faint breeze and the sound of birdsong to accompany my steaming cup of chai and bowl of fresh local strawberries. I can’t imagine a better way to start the day.
I finished a "WOW" of a book last night, The Anomaly by French author Hervé Le Tellier, translated by Adriana Hunter. I was a fan of the tv series “Manifest”, about a flight that got caught up in a storm and disappeared for five years, only to return miraculously with all of the passengers both exactly the same yet slightly altered, while the world has aged and moved on, presuming them all dead. I haven’t watched the last season of this show, as I’ve now lost interest, but the premise of this book reminded me of that show. In early March 2021, two hundred and forty three passengers board Air France Flight 006 from Paris to New York. They each have their own issues and life’s difficulties, but none expects that, after hitting severe, unexpected turbulence, they would arrive to a reality that is both “perfectly familiar and utterly strange” (from the back of the book jacket). These passengers include an American female lawyer, a mostly-obscure French writer and philosopher, a gay Nigerian pop singer, and a couple whose relationship is in its last stages of decline. Can this unexpected event, this “anomaly”, offer them the opportunity to make different choices? I can’t tell you anything further about this novel, because the plot twists and genre-defying concepts are what give this book the “WOW” factor. Le Tellier manages to do so much, and to do it all well. This novel addressed serious issues such as racism, homophobia, sexism and domestic abuse, while also being literary, and funny, and heartwrenching, with a bit of romance thrown in. It was sci-fi-ish, but was also a thriller, a political and social commentary, and a philosophical exploration into what it means to “be”, asking us to think about who we are and what gives our lives meaning. I would highly recommend this to just about anyone, and I will definitely seek out more books by this author.That’s all for today. Get outside and enjoy the lovely weather!
Bye for now…