Monday, June 27, 2011
The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier
The Illumination: A Novel
I am a big fan of Carmichael's independent bookstore in Louisville, KY. Every year when we go to Louisville to do AP grading, we make a stop at Carmichael's and, since I certainly don't need any books, I only buy one if the store employee can convince me to buy a title I have never heard of. This year's suggestion from Jenn Watson, the Carmichael's clerk, was The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier. The book is a series of inter-locking stories connected by a mysterious outbreak of physical pain made visible called "the Illumination" and the talisman seems to be a journal of daily love notes left behind after it's owner perishes in a car accident. As the journal falls into different hands, various character's lives are changed. The book is a subtle celebration of the connectedness of our lives.