BOOK & BLOG
August 18, 2007
Book of the Week: THE SOCIETY OF S by Susan Hubbard
I'm reading THE SOCIETY OF S by Susan Hubbard. I think it's really well-written, though I haven't gotten to the end yet. It's the story of Ari, a young girl who lives in a big Victorian house in Saratoga Springs with her very odd and beautiful father, a troll-like woman who seems to live in the basement, her father's cheerful assistant, and a housekeeper who comes in during the days to cook for Ari.
This mysterious household is an obvious clue that something is different about Ari. Ari wants to know where her mother is, and why she left. Her father seems more interested in tutoring her in quantum physics. There are no pictures of Ari's mother in the house.
Gradually the housekeeper's children become Ari's friends, and Ari learns to ride a bike and do a few normal early-teen things. A predictable catastrophe befalls, and Ari hits the road.
There's a lot of good stuff in the this book, and I'm sure almost any Stephanie Meyers fan would enjoy THE SOCIETY OF S. Since I haven't read the ending, I can't sign off the book, but since I've read four fifths of it, I give it a thumbs up. It's suitable for ages 13-people my age, which is pretty darn mature. That thirteen year old should be a seasoned reader, though.
Family. That's word that's fraught with a lot of different emotions. I have friends who have very complicated families, families that make mine look like a walk in the park. My own remaining family is woefully small. My mother, my uncle and his wife and their three daughters, and my cousin on my mother's side; that's it. I've lost three uncles, two aunts, my father, and my brother, plus all my grandparents, which is to be expected at my age. The remaining members are the more precious to me because we are so few.
This week we're having a familly event, a wedding, of a member of my husband's family, which is large. Very large. We've spent days visiting with relatives in a big city, and we've shopped, and we've enjoyed different restaurants every day. Families are complicated things, and each one has its own dynamic. I think each family has its own drama, too. It's wonderful to reconnect with my husband's super brothers and sister, and their spouses; to catch a glimpse on the fly of our very busy nieces and nephews. My husband's parents are aging and changing like my own mother; part of the progression of life.
I've often asked myself if I were choosing family members the way I choose my friends, would any of these people be on the list? Yes, I think they would. I'm really fortunate in that. It's a pleasure to visit with them, to find out what they're doing and how their jobs are going, what kind of grades the kids are making and what their future plans might be. It's a pleasure to find out that some of them have ideas as impractical as my own childrens', that other parents are as baffled as we are about some of their choices.
Weekends like this are a reassuring pleasure. We're connected. We're part of something. We belong.
© 2009 Charlaine Harris