BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE GRAMMARIANS”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is The Grammarians, by Cathleen Schine.

***

Book Beginnings:  “That writer called,” Michael said when she got home.  “The young one.”

“They’re all young now, Michael.  Be more specific.”

“Why don’t they call your assistant?  I can’t be expected to remember everything.”

Her assistant?  Daphne hadn’t had an assistant since 2008.  No one had assistants anymore. What was Michael thinking?

***

Friday 56:  “You can’t smoke in the apartment when the baby comes, Daphne.”

Daphne shook her head.  “You are becoming so conventional.  Radically conventional.  Just don’t turn into a Republican.”

Laurel laughed.  “No.” (56%).

***

Synopsis:  From the author compared to Nora Ephron and Nancy Mitford, not to mention Jane Austen, comes a new novel celebrating the beauty, mischief, and occasional treachery of language.

The Grammarians are Laurel and Daphne Wolfe, identical, inseparable redheaded twins who share an obsession with words. They speak a secret “twin” tongue of their own as toddlers; as adults making their way in 1980s Manhattan, their verbal infatuation continues, but this love, which has always bound them together, begins instead to push them apart. Daphne, copy editor and grammar columnist, devotes herself to preserving the dignity and elegance of Standard English. Laurel, who gives up teaching kindergarten to write poetry, is drawn, instead, to the polymorphous, chameleon nature of the written and spoken word. Their fraying twinship finally shreds completely when the sisters go to war, absurdly but passionately, over custody of their most prized family heirloom: Merriam Webster’s New International Dictionary, Second Edition.

Cathleen Schine has written a playful and joyful celebration of the interplay of language and life. A dazzling comedy of sisterly and linguistic manners, a revelation of the delights and stresses of intimacy, The Grammarians is the work of one of our great comic novelists at her very best.

***

I am looking forward to this one; it sounds like fun…word play.  What do you think?

***

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