Let the Great World Spin

It is a new week, which means I have a new book recommendation! With so much time to relax on the beach this past weekend, I travelled prepared, knowing I’d need a good book to get lost in. Matt also brought a book, but unfortunately I don’t think it will be making it onto any bestseller lists anytime soon. Too bad for him, but I was not disappointed with my choice.

 

Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann, was one of the most emotional, magnificent, and engaging novels I’ve read in a long time. Set in 1974, McCann weaves the lives of ordinary, yet extraordinary, people like the web of a spider; slowly and delicately, all centered around a single moment when a tightrope walker glides between the newly built Twin Towers in New York City. He brings us the lives of those below the walker, all searching for their own type of freedom, while the walker represents just that.

“Far below, the lives of complete strangers spin towards each other: Corrigan, a radical Irish monk working in the Bronx; Claire, a delicate Upper East Side housewife reeling from the death of her son; Lara, a drug-addled young artist; Gloria, solid and proud despite decades of hardship; Tillie, a hooker who used to dream of a better life; and Jazzlyn, her beautiful daughter raised on promises that reach beyond the skyline of New York. In the shadow of one reckless and beautiful act, these disparate lives will collide, and be transformed forever.”

I will admit, I’ve become a bit weary of this new genre of multiple lives finding each other and connecting in unique ways. It’s happening in both books and cinema. However, McCann so beautifully tells their stories, and creates an emotional novel that doesn’t depress, but engages. In fact, it was the winner of the National Book Award. Pick it up, you won’t be disappointed.

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