Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Eight

One of my favorite books of all time is The Eight by Katherine Neville. Her story follows to sets of characters over two time periods and their actions and roles mirror a game of chess. She weaves in real people in with her characters and real episodes - like the French revolution, the death of Marat, and a key OPEC meeting with Omar Kadafi. That's really just the beginning. 

If you read the book you'll see that today April 4th is key, being the birthday of one of the characters. As it says in the book, "On the fourth day of the fourth month, then will come The Eight." April 4th. That's today. It's also by no coincidence Katherine Neville's birthday. I don't want to give anything away so I won't tell you what it means, but here is the description of the book in more detail from her website:

The Eight

New York City, 1972—A dabbler in mathematics and chess, Catherine Velis is also a computer expert for a Big Eight accounting firm. Before heading off to a new assignment in Algeria, Cat has her palm read by a fortune-teller. The woman warns Cat of danger. Then an antiques dealer approaches Cat with a mysterious offer: He has an anonymous client who is trying to collect the pieces of an ancient chess service, purported to be in Algeria. If Cat can bring the pieces back, there will be a generous reward.
The South of France, 1790—Mireille de Remy and her cousin Valentine are young novices at the fortresslike Montglane Abbey. With France aflame in revolution, the two girls burn to rebel against constricted convent life—and their means of escape is at hand. Buried deep within the abbey are pieces of the Montglane Chess Service, once owned by Charlemagne. Whoever reassembles the pieces can play a game of unlimited power. But to keep the Game a secret from those who would abuse it, the two young women must scatter the pieces throughout the world. . . .

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