Jesse Lee Kercheval may very well be my new favorite author. My friend Steph slid this copy of The Museum of Happiness across the table to me a couple of months ago. Like me, she finds too many killer books to read them all in a timely fashion. I love it when the book I put off reading ends up becoming The One.
If you’re a reader like me, story is crucial – but it’s never enough. There must be a poet somewhere inside every great novelist or I don’t stick. That’s Kercheval. The Museum of Happiness is like Henry James meets John Irving and shakes hands with Gabriel Garcia Marquez who’s reading Suite Francaise. This is the book you want to read in one sitting, but don’t because you have to save another chapter for tomorrow.
I’m not giving you a synopsis because I’ll give away something vitally important for sure. That, and it’s late. Just flash on this: a genetic predisposition to webbed fingers and telepathy, carnies, a dead groom, gypsy-child pickpockets, rooms full of hand-made lace, the stock market crash, a cross-dresser in Full Habit…this is eccentricity at its finest, gorgeously written, addictive.
Get up right now and go find a copy of this book. I’d loan you this one, but Steph hasn’t read it yet and, well, it’s hers. I’m giving this one a Full Five Stars. Miraculous, considering how literarily jaded I’ve become.