What Have We Here? by Susan Bono

Susan Bono’s book of personal essays is an answer to its title, What Have We Here? It contains essays from her life; essays elegant in their simplicity and profound in their insight; essays that tell the life story of a thoughtful woman who has the ability to capture her feelings on a literary canvas for us to experience; essays that have the quality of poetry.

I read each essay out loud to my wife. We are immersed with the author in the scene: on the dance floor, in the kitchen, hiking, or on a car trip as the author muses about her life, our life, all of our lives. Yes, she makes a connection to all of us using nostalgia, humor and sometimes sadness with essays as accessible as a Billy Collins poem and as homey as a Christmas tree in the front room.

I insert a bookmark and close her book. It’s quiet. There’s a residual intensity that demands our attention. Then we share with each other what has happened. Sometimes it evokes one of our own personal stories. Regardless, we feel engaged, warm and very human. So I recommend this book for your humanity.

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