Must-Reads For Summer: A Cape Eye On Books With Anne LeClaire

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The Book. You know the one. The novel you call your friends about and say, “You’ve got to read this.” The memoir you want to press into hands of strangers.

“I always find myself recommending “Father Meloncholy’s Daughter,” by Gail Godwin,” says Joan Greene of Chatham, a serious and passionate reader who belongs to six book clubs. She quotes a reviewer who said of it, “A rare and remarkable novel, one that is resplendent with respect for the mysteries of God and love for the human adventure in the family of faith . . .”

Then Joan adds, “That makes it sound very ‘preachy’ and it really is not. It is more an analysis of where God and religion come into our lives and it doesn’t matter if we go to church or not. On rereading it, I discovered how totally I connected with the young heroine, Margaret. Why? My father was not melancholy, but I now realize how close we were and how much he taught me.”

“The most recent one I am recommending is Liz Strout’s “My Name Is Lucy Burton,” says Providence writer Ann Hood. “The novel is luminous. Strout tells the story of a lifetime in just a few weeks.”

“Look Me In The Eye,” by John Elder Robison is the one for me,” says Chatham-ite Paige Murray, a reader whose college major was literature. “The book is about special people with special needs. It opens up life and puts things in prospective.”

Publisher’s Weekly wrote, “A thoroughly memorable account of living with Asbergers.”

In the forward, “Running With Scissors” author Augusten Burroughs wrote: “As sweet and funny and sad and true and heartfelt a memoire as one could find.”

“For a young reader,” says Illinois resident Toni Mathis who is currently vacationing on the Cape, “I always recommend Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” It is one of the best books ever written. From page one you know what you’re about. It’s magic. I’d say I’ve read it at least 25 times.

And I think every author and every reader should read Eudora Welty’s ‘One Writer’s Beginnings,’ the memoir that shows the shaping of her personality and her writing.”

What is the book you are passionate about, the one about which you say, “You’ve got to read this”?

Please join the conversation.

Anne LeClaire

Anne LeClaire


Anne LeClaire is the best-selling author of eight novels, the latest of which is “The Lavender Hour.” A Cape Eye On Books is’s online book club.

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