Saturday, August 3, 2013

Classics are Always in Style

Classic novels continue their great appeal to readers who want the sublime experience of reading or re-reading notable books.  Because many of the classics in the Monrovia Public Library have been over-loved through time, many have been recently replaced with newer editions.  Now is your chance to be among the first to read pristine copies of your favorite classics. Here is a sampling of some favorites.

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again” is the unforgettable opening line of the classic novel Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier.  Full of romance, suspense and foreboding doom, this is the story of the young woman who impetuously marries the widower Maxim DeWinter and returns to Manderley, his Cornwall estate in England, only to discover that the memory of his late wife Rebecca permeates every space. 

 Not all classics are old.  One more contemporary classic is the Joy Luck Club by the prolific California author Amy Tan.  This is the story of Chinese American immigrant families living in 1949 San Francisco who gather together to eat and play mahjong.  As these mothers and daughters play, they share the often tragic stories of their lives. 

Who can forget the character of Francie Nolan in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn?  She lives with her brother, hard-working mother and alcoholic father in New York.  By reading, Francie escapes the poverty of her childhood and in the book ages to become a teenager about to enter college.  On visiting her old home she observes a tree that has grown despite the lack of care and sees herself in that tree. 

A contemporary classic written in a very modern style, The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros is a collection of vignettes and random stories about Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina growing up on the streets of Chicago.  Like Francie Nolan, Esperanza knows that she is the mistress of her own future and she forges ahead saying “I have decided not to grow up tame.” 

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