Now in paperback from the bestselling author of "Home Comforts"--the first of a trilogy of novels about Morningside Heights, a saga set in Manhattan focusing on a vivid cast of musicians and intellectuals whose lives are suddenly changing.Now in paperback from the bestselling author of "Home Comforts"--the first of a trilogy of novels about Morningside Heights, a saga set in Manhattan focusing on a vivid cast of musicians and intellectuals whose lives are suddenly changing.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2003-04-14 The busy, intersecting lives of a group of Manhattanites living in the staid but rapidly changing Upper West Side neighborhood of Morningside Heights near Columbia University are the focus of this talky, occasionally stilted debut novel by Mendelson (Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House). Opera singer Charles Braithwaite; his wife, Anne, a pianist; and their three (soon to be four) children are the novel's ostensible protagonists. The book's real hero, however, is their beloved neighborhood, which they fear they will soon have to leave, unable to afford their cramped apartment. They are surrounded by a large cast of the sort of people commonly found on Manhattan's Upper West Side-independent scholars, professors, eccentric neighbors, with rich stockbrokers invading the haunts of the original residents. Narrative drama, such as it is, is provided by the death of an elderly resident of the Braithwaite's building. What were the true circumstances of her death, what role was played by her shifty trustee-and most importantly, who will get her apartment? The incorporation of neighborhood history and description is sometimes a bit stiff, and Mendelson's tone can be stuffy-as befits her subjects-but the accumulation of day-to-day detail, social commentary and emotional insight eventually yields a consistent picture of a rarefied milieu. (June 17) Forecast: Real estate-obsessed New Yorkers will enjoy the apartment drama and local color. Readers elsewhere in the country may find the novel a bit parochial. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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