With a surge in travel this hot summer, beach reads have become portable companions to compliment the need to escape from home bound norms during the pandemic. If you haven’t already delved into a good story yet this summer, as you settle in a Muskoka chair or lay out on a towel, here are a few recommendations from our Broker of Record, Dean Serravalle, who is also a published novelist.
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
Although on the surface, a story about an Artificial Friend in an A.I. universe,with observation qualities, seems far-fetched, this emotional story is much more than that. Klara is finally purchased by a customer who chooses her above the rest, but things change when Klara goes and lives with her new, and younger owner, who is struggling to survive a terminal disease. Brilliantly rendered by Nobel Prize winning laureate, Kazuo Ishiguro, this novel will profoundly influence how you see our ever evolving modern world. I read it, entranced by every page, marveling at the majesty of a truly talented wordsmith.
If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio
This suspenseful novel is the debut offering by M.L. Rio, an up and coming American novelist, and it concerns a murder mystery surrounding Oliver Marks, a former actor at the fictional Dellecher Shakespeare conservatory. When one of the actors at this prestigious school is murdered, drama takes on intense measures as the actors in his circle of friends are caught in a whirlwind of suspicion and trauma. The book is brilliantly written as a mystery, and it will keep you turning the pages. If you are a Shakespeare fan, you will also appreciate the revisitation of Shakespeare quotes and characters as well as the fusion of Shakespearean plots into modern day settings. The characters are vibrant, dramatic, and interesting, and the “read” is perfect for a day on the water, where they end up finding the dead body. Lol. All in all, an exceptional debut.
The Promise by Damon Galgut
If you are looking to escape to a South African reality, look no further than Booker Award Winning novel, The Promise by Damon Galgut. The Promise charts the crash and burn of a white South African family living on a farm outside Pretoria. As they gather for Ma’s funeral, the younger generation of kids who detest their family ways, must deal with a failed promise to the Black woman who has worked for them their whole life. I was personally mesmerized by the characters in this novel, as they struggle to find their way under the shadow of this cursed promise. Not necessarily a beach read, but definitely an evening read with some wine and some Streliski classical music.