Wednesday, June 29, 2011
The Borrower: Author Event
I love author events, so when I found out that the Lake Forest Book Store hosts author luncheons, I signed myself right up. Today's luncheon showcased local author Rebecca Makkai and her debut novel The Borrower. Makkai has an impressive résumé as a short story writer - she's been featured in The Best American Short Stories four times, and she's been praised by literary heavies like Geraldine Brooks and Richard Russo.
The Borrower is a fantastic read. It's the story of Lucy Hull, a children's librarian from Hannibal, Missouri, who befriends a 10-year-old patron named Ian. When Lucy finds out that Ian's parents are sending him to an evangelical camp that specializes in "correcting" homosexual tendencies in boys, she is horrified. Together, Lucy and Ian kidnap each other and head off on a cross-country adventure that causes Lucy to question her essential purpose and, ultimately, the choices she's made.
Makkai fills the book with all sorts of literary references, from Lolita and Crime & Punishment, to Goodnight Moon and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Fans of children's literature will be particularly delighted by the little gifts that Makkai includes throughout her prose. (My favorite: the nod to the Choose Your Own Adventure books - loved it!)
Side note: The luncheon was held at Lovell's in Lake Forest, owned by Capt. Jim Lovell - yeah, like Capt. Jim Lovell of Apollo 13 fame. Pretty cool, huh? Who knew Tom Hanks became a restauranteur?