The Grateful Class of '68
For a few weeks after my mother's death, I was in possession of the painstakingly annotated high school yearbook that had been dedicated to her by the grateful class of 1968.
Yes, she'd been their English teacher and yearbook advisor, but that didn't explain her obsessive collecting of signatures and tributes next to every senior's photo. I could picture her - age twenty-three, her first job after college, roaming the corridors of Pickering High School, pen and book in hand, coaxing the shyest, least engaged boy or girl to sign - Write anything. I want to remember every one of you. Could you personalize it, just a few words?
by Elinor Lipman
Part of my plan to ward off an impending reading slump included borrowing a stack of books from the library and sampling them until one "stuck." The first one I picked up was Elinor Lipman's latest novel, Good Riddance ... and I haven't put it down yet. A few reviews suggest this may not be one of her best, but I'm enjoying it so far.
Here is a portion of the goodreads summary:
Daphne Maritch doesn't quite know what to make of the heavily annotated high school yearbook she inherits from her mother, who held this relic dear. Too dear. The late June Winter Maritch was the teacher to whom the class of '68 had dedicated its yearbook, and in turn she went on to attend every reunion, scribbling notes and observations after each one—not always charitably—and noting who overstepped boundaries of many kinds.
In a fit of decluttering (the yearbook did not, Daphne concluded, "spark joy"), she discards it when she moves to a small New York City apartment. But when it's found in the recycling bin by a busybody neighbor/documentary filmmaker, the yearbook's mysteries—not to mention her own family's—take on a whole new urgency, and Daphne finds herself entangled in a series of events both poignant and absurd.
What do you think? Are you tempted to continue?
First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intro is hosted by Vicki at I'd Rather Be At The Beach.