The Eighth Day. Thornton Wilder. Novel. God’s Creation ended with the Seventh Day. Man’s creation continues with the eighth day. And the key to that creation is the many Messiahs who build within families to a high point of humanity. Christ is only one Messiah from only one family. There are many more to come.
The Bridge of San Luis Rey. Thornton Wilder. In 1714, a bridge over a canyon in Peru breaks, precipitating five travelers into the gorge. A Franciscan monk, Brother Juniper, attempts to learn why the tragedy happened to these particular five people. Does God have a plan?
Watch and Ward. Henry James. Novel. Why read Henry James? For many reasons. His subtle expression of the intricacies of relationships is revealing of how people think and feel in relation to others. His character studies reveal the complexity of personality. He throws off ideas and memorable words almost as afterthoughts. One will find many a mot juste in his novels. And he works mainly with the relationships of unsubtle, honest and straightforward Americans against the subtle, devious, cultured Europeans. However, Watch and Ward deals only with America and is an early novel. The idea behind the novel is bizarre. Roger Lawrence adopts a little girl and brings her up to be his perfect wife—without telling her.
Portrait of a Lady. Henry James. Novel. Henry James studies the relationships between the American character and the character of aristocratic Europeans.
The American. Henry James. Novel. The clash of cultures between the American character—honest, naïve, member of a classless society—vs. European aristocratic belief in the primacy of social class based on heritage, honor and manners.