31 July 2008


The day before Nancy and I headed west for some respite from the routines and "demands" of everyday life (like television, telephone, and the Internet), I stopped at the Northfield library for some literary baggage. Faye Kellerman's name stood out among the paperbacks. My earlier experiences with Milk and Honey, The Ritual Bath, and The Burnt House had been good.

The book I picked up was Sanctuary, a book she wrote 15 years ago. Somehow it sounded appropriate to read Sanctuary since we were seeking the temporary sanctuary of being in the Rocky Mountains over 1000 miles from home.

Trouble is Kellerman's book is about the absence of sanctuary. There's no sanctuary in the suburbs of L.A., in the diamond bourse of Tel Aviv, in a self-isolated religious community in New York, in a Jerusalem yeshiva, or in a Damascus suburb.

That summary should tell you that L.A. Sergeant Detective Decker and his wife Rina get around in the course of this story. Other characters get around even more.

It's a well-told story that kept bringing me back to book. I read it in fits and starts while traveling across South Dakota and Wyoming and while taking a day of rest in Montana. You don't need to travel to enjoy this book, but it would be a good airplane or beach book. Just don't expect it to offer more than literary sanctuary from the world around you.

The publisher's site for Sanctuary

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