Bookwoman: The power of books to unite us

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“Cloud Cuckoo Land” by Anthony Doerr

This hefty book is actually three separate stories with different characters, time periods and locales. The common thread is an ancient Greek play by “Aethon.” The three plots are:

— Constantinople/Istanbul in the 1400s. Here we meet Anna and her sister, Maria, who are embroiderers for royalty and Omeir, an ox herder who is traveling with the Ottoman Turk army to besiege the city and destroy the Byzantine Empire.

— Idaho in 2020. Eighty-year-old Zeno Nenis is helping a group of sixth graders put on a Greek play at the local library.

— Outer space in the distant future. Konstance is a teenage girl who, with her parents and a large group of other selected “futurists,” have escaped a deteriorating Earth and are aiming for a distant galaxy to establish a new colony. This thread of the story will provide a huge surprise near the end of the book.

Doerr wrote the prize-winning novel “All the Light We Cannot See” and, like that book, this one is full of uplifting human interactions and kindnesses. The reader just has to be patient and wait for “all to be revealed.”

Kerry Pettis is a retired elementary school teacher and children’s librarian who has lived in Broomfield since 1975. Reading is her favorite occupation.