Coming of Age by Nancy Sackett, Fiction Librarian

girl-next-door

Coming of age novels might evoke such classic titles as To Kill a Mockingbird, A Tree grows in Brooklyn, Lord of the Flies, or The Outsiders. The stories contain the point where childhood ends and the adult world is introduced usually in a traumatic fashion.  After living 50 or more years in the “adult world” – your nest is empty, your days are numbered and you reach a point where you can retire and relax, right?  Wrong!

The point where you think you know how your life is going to turn out but surprise it doesn’t.  I think it could be called a coming of Age story too. The Lewistown Public Library has many novels that deal with this kind of coming of Age and here are a few of my favorites.

The Girl Next Door by Ruth Rendell reunites some childhood friends because of a mysterious discovery.  The writing is superb and you will laugh and sigh and recognize some of these people as your own childhood friends.

Grandchildren are such a blessing but sometimes they can be a problem you didn’t anticipate.  Read Let him go by Larry Watson and The Second Half by Lauraine Snelling for some thought provoking insight into Grandparenthood.

Perfume River by Robert Olen Butler is new at the library and it has some profound things to say about real courage, fathers and sons, war, loss and family.

Coming of Age deal with loss, and when you have nothing left to lose except your dignity and you are forced to lose that to.  A new DVD titled The lady in the Van with the great actress Maggie Smith is certainly worth watching.

The must read for folks of all ages is The last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley.  It really speaks to events you are seeing on the news every day.  It was written in 2010 but remains topical and enlightening.