Saturday Review: “Making Sense Of The Sixties” a review by Sheryl Cornett of Lee Zacharias’ What a Wonderful World This Could Be.
Literature can help us see where we lose and find our humanity over and over again. Cornett points out about Zacharias’ 2021 novel that “…topics of women’s rights, abortion, and divorce laws make cameo appearances. Add to these plot elements, the paranoia, censorship, police brutality, political polarization, activist bombings, distrust of the Federal Government, and changing sexual ethics, and one comes away from the photographic eye of this visceral, visual novel wondering if that much has changed since the 1960s.”
Cornett elucidates the journey Alex, the protagonist, takes through the time of the novel, from the 1960s through the mid ’80s. Like Alex as a photographer, Zacharias uses the micro and macro zoom lens of writing to take the reader back and forth through time to tell her tale.
As most novels, though, Cornett says, “The core of What a Wonderful Life This Could Be is humanity’s need for the safe harbor and connection of love – for community and purposeful vocation and for some form of family, even if not biological.” For that, she says, the novel “deserves close reading and “remembering” – by those who were and were not present to that defining decade in history.”