The Garden of Last Days by Andre Dubus III came to my attention via a recommendation from one of my favorite authors (Peter Orner). I have heard of Dubus’s other well-known work, The House of Sand and Fog, but this is the first time I’ve read his work. I listened to the majority of this book on cd as the book is so heavy, but physically read the last 100 pages of it.
This novel (500+ pages) is about a young single mother who dances in a strip club in Florida. It is also about one of the 9/11 terrorists who makes a visit to the strip club just prior to carrying out his horrific act of terrorism on a flight out of Boston that dark Tuesday morning. The book has several well-defined minor characters and FYI, much of it is R rated. It is however, an exceptionally well-written book which makes the reader think. Dubus’s narrative juxtaposes the stripper and her actions and desires to those of the terrorist along with the motivation behind other minor characters in the novel.
The story brought back memories and feelings I keep buried, but made me reflect on the bigger picture of life. The writing is superb and I am grateful to have been guided to this book by another talented writer. If you have the time and inclination, read this book. It would also be a great book for book discussion groups.