It is rare for me to find a book, aside from the works of Ayn Rand, that I love reading. A great classic, such as Shakespeare play, can move me by certain elements of it and make me marvel at its greatness; but the dark or mixed sense of life of so many classics can drag me down in the end.

I loved reading the novel Crosspoints, by Alexandra York. Many parts were moving to me. The heroes are noble, like the Greek statues that the archeologist heroine searches for on ocean floors. They pursue their happiness with passion, courage, style, and remarkable wisdom about life, love, and art. And their pursuits are described with realistic, evocative detail that makes me understand why they love what they are doing. I love it too, and wonder whether I would have the courage to do what they do.

I realize that I’m not doing as I say: I am not giving details. I am afraid to give anything away in an order other than what the author intended. The book is very exciting from the first page. I read the novel several years ago, but when I recently recalled the ending of the first chapter, I got goose bumps again.

If you want to know specifics about the characters and plotline, see the summary on the book jacket. Better yet, my suggestion to the author is to make the first chapter available online. But my advice has not been needed in order for the book to sell; a Russian translation is already on the market, and a Spanish translation is on the way. For more information about the novel and other works by Alexandra York, go here.

One of my least favorite things about the novel is the title, which is a little on the nose for me. But the fact that the novel really is about ‘crosspoints’ is ultimately the most important virtue of the novel. Apropos of my recent discussions about dramatic conflict (here and here), each character faces a dramatic internal conflict and a ‘crosspoint’: a moment when the internal conflict comes to a head, and the character must make a conscious choice. The choice that each character makes shapes that character’s world. And that is why the sense of life of this novel is bright, not dark: not because life is always happy, but because one can make it so.

The author, Alexandra York, is the founder of American Renaissance for the Twenty-first Century (ART), a “nonprofit educational foundation dedicated to a rebirth of beauty and life-affirming values in all of the fine arts.” I have seen some of Ms. York’s personal collection of art, and I can tell you that she knows beauty.