This month’s pick of the month from Andrea Peskind-Katz from GREAT THOUGHTS, GREAT READERS is:
The Celebrants by Steven Rowley
Every month, Andrea chooses a book either written by an individual aged 50Plus or written for this awesome community!
The Celebrants is a beautifully written novel by Steven Rowley reminiscent of The Big Chill.
After the sudden loss of a close friend, the other five in the tight-knit group make a pact to hold a “living funeral” for each other to be invoked when they need it the most. The purpose is to provide support during a difficult time and to make sure the individual being “celebrated” knows how loved and important they are. In other words, why wait until they are gone? Why not make sure everyone knows how others feel about them while they are alive to appreciate it? The point is to leave nothing unsaid. Although we find out as the story unfolds a few profound secrets were left unshared until years later.
A “living funeral” sounds a bit morbid, but Rowley writes with both sensitivity and humor as he takes us through 28 years of friendship with this group. We get to know each of the perfectly imperfect characters very well as the story unfolds and experience both joy and sorrow with them. The characters do not always stay in close touch, but drop everything to be there for each other when asked. These friends became a family who helped each other heal when times were tough. We experience divorce, death, cancer and prison through the years with them.
The lessons from this book are very clear and relatable:
1. Cherish those you love and tell them how you feel while they are still alive.
2. Cultivate a loving and supportive “family of choice”.
I highly recommend “The Celebrants”. It is a poignant and thoughtful book about friendship and love. Not only is it exceptionally well written, it is full of warmth and at times, hilarity.
I was given a free copy of this book by Penguin Random House in exchange for my honest review.
About the Author
Steven Rowley is the bestselling author of four novels including Lily and the Octopus, a Washington Post Notable Book of 2016; The Editor, an NPR Best Book of 2019; and The Guncle, winner of the 22nd Thurber Prize for American Humor and Goodreads finalist for Novel of the Year. His fiction has been translated into twenty languages. He resides in Palm Springs, California. Learn more about Steven Rowley HERE
About Andrea Peskind Katz from GREAT THOUGHTS, GREAT READERS:
Andrea Peskind Katz runs Great Thoughts, Great Readers, a Book Salon presented via her private FB group where approximately 5000 prolific readers and authors interact. She also founded Greatthoughts.com, a lifestyle website blog focusing on Great Books and Great Travel. To quote Robert Frost, she created her “second act” career to “unite my avocation and my vocation”. After 20 years in high-pressure sales, Andrea retired to spend time doing what she loves best: hanging with her family, and reading good books.