is reading The Mysteries by Marissa Silver for October Book Club.
Bestselling author Marisa Silver's novel, The Mysteries illustrates how the fine balance of everyday life can so easily be shattered in an instance.
The novel takes place in Saint Louis in 1973, as the country is in a recession and the Vietnam war was ending. It centers around two families and their two young 7 year old girls, Miggy and Ellen. The families are from different backgrounds and neighborhoods, one living in Maplewood and the other in Webster Groves. The two girls meet at a dance school owned by Miggy's mother. Miggy is a force to be reckoned with and Ellen is meek and mild. Miggy knows when Ellen comes over to play Miggy can get away with just about anything because she has a guest.
This powerful novel explores childhood, family dynamics, marriage, and grief.
Marisa Silver with Charlie Brennan- The Mysteries
Left Bank Books
May 11, 2021
“What I decided early on was that it couldn’t just be Miggy’s story because she’s not in charge of her story. I wanted to show the lives that were in charge of Miggy. So, I chose a kind of narrative stance—I love that we’re talking called geeky, writing stuff, my favorite—that was very flexible, that could survey the scene in an omniscient manner, but also then telescope right down to the heart of a character.”
― Marisa Silver (Finally) Nailing Down her Novel's Point of View. In conversation with Mitzi Rapkin on First Draft podcast
“The central event of the story — I won’t mention the details; no spoiler alert required — happened to my father when he was a child. He was in a car with his mother and a friend of his, and he witnessed a traumatic event. It was a story he told me, but never explained or analyzed. I always wondered how that affected him and my grandmother, and what the repercussions were.
That was the springboard. Then came the voice of Miggy, my protagonist. She was suddenly there, this complicated, vexing, richly feeling seven-year-old. When she appeared I thought, holy moly, how do you get inside the consciousness of a seven-year-old? How do I find the voice that expresses her in an intimate way, but in language she’d be able to use to describe her own interiority?"
The Los Angeles Review of Books
The Unruliness of Life: A Conversation with Marisa Silver
May 13, 2021
Do you like Art? Check out B Extraordinaire Gallery, Book Club Extraordinaire's other website