A coming-of-age novel in the spirit of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, this book introduces us to Ana Koehl, whose sixtieth birthday serves as a reminder of the relationships and decisions that have informed her life. Lisa Gornick has written an intelligent, humorous, and character-driven book that is full of complicated family dynamics, romantic and professional pursuits, and friendships that will either charm or frustrate readers. Those who are familiar with the cultural, creative, and intellectual landscape of contemporary New York City will particularly appreciate Ana’s story.
It’s clear that Ana is not a woman who has it all — and yet it’s easy to understand why she, and those around her, are so eager to dismiss or ignore the knots of her life. All of her relationships — with her family, her best friend, and her clients — are complicated. Out of these complications, Gornick molds a character with the strength and vibrancy to hold readers’ attention. Ana and her extensive supporting cast are neither heroes nor villains; it is left to readers to choose where their sympathies lie.
While some may find the numerous conflicts overwhelming, Ana Turns is extremely well suited for raucous book club discussions — especially those in which beverages are involved.
Debby Miller is a long-time board member of Jewish Book Council, serving on its Fiction committee, and later founding the National Jewish Book Award for Book Clubs. She is currently a Vice President of the organization. Debby is based in Greensboro, NC and has been involved in the Jewish community through National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), AIPAC, B’nai Shalom and the Federation. She was president of the local Women’s Division and campaign chair, and also got involved in the National Women’s Division. One of her primary philanthropic endeavors is her work with JDC, where she has been a member of the board since 1994.