I share optimistic & constructive books from writers committed to excellence in litterature. My favorites books leave me with a sense of lightness and freedom in my heart. "To love is to act" (Victor Hugo)
Among the contemporary writers, I also read recently 'Salem falls' by Jodi Picoult. What I liked about her is: she does not expose only the evils of the society; she also shows our strengths right next to our frailties.
To give you a few examples of the positives in her book:
- In the opening scene, I'm touched by the compassion of the taxi driver, who picks up Jack for free, when he is walking down the highway, barely clothed on a very cold day, with no money
- then you see the reciprocative acts of protection between him and the woman Addie, right at the beginning, when he shows up at her restaurant
- later, you see the dignity of Jack on many occasions
- the act of self-sacrifice that Jack does to protect Addie's drunk father
- the extent to which Addie goes for helping Jack, in spite of her inner conflicts
- the generosity of Wes for Jack, in spite of their rivalry
And, in terms of craft, this is an author who keeps us uncertain till the end, forcing us to read every line, because you never know how the end will turn out.
I find Picoult has done a great job here, portraying a realistic story, in a way that is a balanced mix of good and bad, where everything does NOT turn out predictably.
Another great writer I’ve appreciated is Tony Morrison. Although sometimes I have difficulty following her use of dialects, I think in ‘Shula’ and ‘Beloved’ she has really created some great characters, with some vivid descriptions and interior monologues.