Mira, Nov 2008, $13.95
Acclaimed ceramic artist Elaine Gordon has always placed her beloved husband Neil above her work and their four children with her vocation coming in a distant second. Thus when her soulmate anchor dies, she is more than just grieving; she is lost. Each of her adult children loves their mother even if she has always been distant from them. Each wants her to leave the New York City area and move near one of them. They persuade Elaine to visit them.
Elaine goes to see Sarah nee Sandy and her grandchildren in Jerusalem. Next she travels to California to spend time with Peter and more grandchildren. Her third global trek is to Russia where Lisa wants to become a single mom by adopting a child. Finally, the one trip she dreads going to is New Mexico where Denis and his gay boyfriend live.
Elaine’s journey is on two levels: the obvious globetrotting trips to her offspring and the metaphysical journey of spiritual learning as her children, their significant others, and their offspring make solid mentors. The extended cast is fully developed but it is Elaine as the focus who holds it together. Although her revelatory transformation seems unrealistic (sort of like Ebenezer Scrooge’s change), OPEN DOORS is a deep look at a person learning in her late middle ages what is important in life.