Can you remember the best book you read during the summer – or even the experience of it? Now that summer is winding down, or what little we had of it this year in Seattle, I was thinking today of a book that I read one summer that I remember so vividly the experience of reading it, that I had to mention it.
Vikram Seth’s, “The Golden Gate,” a novel in verse was such a pleasure to read that I read it in two days walking slowly up and down Black’s Beach in San Diego, CA. My friend, Sean Galland, and I would go there and spend all day and into the early evening there a couple of times every summer for awhile.
Written in Onegin stanzas (sonnets written in iambic tetrameter based on the Russian translations of Eugene Onegin by Pushkin) The Golden Gate concerns several young people trying to navigate their relationships in and around the San Francisco bay area. It’s a wonderful story.
I remember having trouble at first with the poetry, trying to figure out the rhyming structure to be able to enjoy the work as a novel, but then something suddenly clicked and I couldn’t stop reading. It was one of the most emotional experiences I’ve ever had reading a novel as some passages were so beautiful to read, I had to go back and reread them several times just to savor them.
Now that Labor Day is upon us (and Seattle is already feeling Fall-ish), I encourage you to buy this book and give it the chance to wrap itself around you, like it did me.