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Monday, 21 September 2015

Book Spotlight: "The Strongest Love..." by T. Lawrence Harrison



"The Strongest Love..." is a homage to the great novelist and short story writer W. Somerset Maugham. Composed of three novellas - each treating our common struggle to find happiness and security in an all-too-often unhappy and insecure world. The first novella bears the title of the book - "The Strongest Love...," and is story of a Catholic priest whose chance encounter at an airport terminal with an aging and dying African-American porn actress and prostitute, who is raising her teen age son, leads to obsession, danger and the loss of his vocation - all for a tough - strangely heroic - woman who "will not settle" for his love - and who hopes until the very end for a miracle that will heal her body and erase her past. Have a box of tissue handy for this provocative contemporary homage to "Of Human Bondage" You will use every one! And then some! 

The second tale is called "Adam's Peak" - and, for this, you will need another box of tissues. It is a very powerful story - inspired by the short story "The Pool" - that tells of a grieving husband carrying the ashes of his deceased wife back to her native Sri Lanka. The plan had been for him to carry the ashes to the top of Adam's Peak - but plans change - and not even death can separate Mark Mason from his beautiful Akuti. 

The final story in this homage to Somerset Maugham is called "All Boxed In" - and it was inspired by a very early novel of the great writer and a fairly recent recording by Bob Dylan. It is the powerful and inspiring story of a young, gay veteran of the War in Afghanistan who returns to his home in Orange County, California a national hero - only to quickly find himself "all boxed in with no where to escape" by the expectations of his wealthy family and its very conservative circle of friends. And, again, a box of tissues is highly recommended!

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