I just finished a book! My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins and Fenway Park by Steve Kluger! Why is that a big deal? Well, as most of you know, if you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, I LOVE to watch TV (6 Must-See Shows on Amazon Prime and 5 Best Shows to Watch on Netflix.)
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I used to be an avid reader, so much so that my husband used to tell me “you always have your nose in a book.” I don’t remember that being a compliment at the time. But since the evolution of cable tv and streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, I seem to find it much easier to get wrapped up in TV show than to open a book. And I don’t necessarily think that is always a good thing for me.. you know, “balance” and all….
So, in 2017, I am vowing to read more books. I’m doing this by reading a chapter of SOMETHING every morning before I start my day. Which isn’t a stretch. I like to wake up s-l-o-w-l-y….with lots of coffee, usually while checking my social media feeds. And during the recent election season, that was definitely NOT a healthy way to start the day!!!! So I now start my day with lots of coffee and reading a book. A much better way to ease into the day.
This morning I finished the Kindle version of My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Park by Steve Kluger. Kluger is known as an American author and playwright, whose writing includes themes around baseball, gay rights, and history. If you are looking for writing around these themes, My Most Excellent Year doesn’t disappoint.
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Book Review: My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Park by Steve Kluger
My Most Excellent Year is classified as Kluger’s first foray into young adult fiction. And while the main characters are high school students, I didn’t find the story at all juvenile.
The main characters are Boston teenagers TC and Augie, best friends who have classified themselves as brothers since they were six. Enter Ale, a beautiful girl who TC falls hard for. She has just moved to Boston from Washington, DC where her father served as a Mexican Ambassador to the U.S.
Each of the main characters has a part in telling the story that takes them all the way through high school. And Kluger brilliantly uses their instant messages, emails, theater reviews and letters, along with a traditional narrative to sweep the reader into their lives.
Much of the book is a traditional coming of age story: falling in love for the first time, coming to terms with your sexuality, coping with the loss of a parent and fully giving yourself to someone else. You’ll learn a little about the Internment of Japanese Americans during WWII and a LOT about musical theater and baseball history! See, Kluger sticks to his themes!
I loved every minute of reading this book! It was positive, clean (although I don’t mind reading the occasional sex scene in novel) and endearing.
Other books by Steve Kluger:
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Cathy Lawdanski is a 50 something writer who is learning to be brave and try new things. She writes about topics that resonate with midlife women - aging parents, adult children, grandchildren, travel, books, food, entertainment, retirement and whatever new adventure she is on!