Five About New York City
Even though I never lived there, I visited New York City frequently during my youth and young adulthood so I have a fondness for novels set in that city, as I do for other places in which I have lived or visited. Sometimes the Big Apple setting is what draws me to a book but not always. I didn’t think I was having a ‘New York City’ kind of year, but 5 of the last 6 novels I’ve read have all taken place there, at least for part of each book. Here’s a list of them with very brief annotations:
The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout—Brothers living in NYC are drawn back to the small town in Maine in which they grew up. A character study of family dynamics written in lyrical language by Pulitzer prize winning author.
The View from Penthouse 5 by Elinor Lipman—Light hearted family/romance story about 2 sisters ‘of a certain age’, one recently widowed living on a reduced income and the other divorced and impoverished through her Madoff investments. But the latter has a great penthouse in which they can both live.
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer—A group of talented teens at a summer arts camp in 1974 become fast friends and retain their ties through the turbulent decades that follow. Lots of drama, heartache and tragedy along with personal and professional successes and failures.
Fin and Lady by Cathleen Schine—Orphaned 10-year-old comes to live with his 24-year-old half sister in the Greenwich Village of the 1960s. Romantic and familial complications ensue. A light touch and an interesting narrative structure add to the book’s charm.
The Golem and the Jini by Helene Wicker—A fantasy adventure about 2 non-human creatures who find themselves adrift in the New York City of the turn of the last century. Complex characters and a plot that keeps you guessing as to how the story will end.