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Roxanne Reviews "A Bright Ray of Darkness"


Roxanne Reviews A Bright Ray of Darkness by Ethan Hawke.


Reading A Bright Ray of Darkness by Ethan Hawke is like being blindfolded and given a rich piece of chocolate cake. Some bites (paragraphs) lead you to believe that the cake is homemade from the finest imported ingredients. Other bites make you feel like it’s simply Sara Lee out of a box.


But that’s exactly the point and beauty of Hawke’s latest novel. Humans aren’t one type of cake, in fact each of us possess a mystery of very deep and shallow thoughts, feelings and behaviors.


The narrative is thus: an actor takes on a physically and mentally strenuous role for the Broadway production of Shakespeare's Henry IV. Meanwhile, his marriage to a famous rock star implodes, as tabloids sensationalize all the tawdry details.


As facile as that may sound, sprinkle in soul searching advice from everyone the actor encounters: taxi drivers, fellow thespians, his children, mistresses and of course, his divorced parents. What evolves is a beautiful treatise on being a fallible human and loving yourself while simultaneously evolving into not only achieving at your highest level, but also still serving those most important (your children).


While distracted in a fun, titillated way (did any of this really happen to Ethan?), I was even more deeply moved as the main character attempts forgiveness for his father, and the universal truth that no matter how much we might deny it, parental acceptance is monumentally crucial to our own development and self-worth.


Roxanne will be a leading a discussion of A Bright Ray of Darkness for our Movie Lovers Book Club on Monday, March 22nd at 6 PM. More information and RSVP here.


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