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starts with an incredible, uncomfortable act: a woman leaving her child.
From there, in 1998, the novel hurtles forward, set in Jamaica and New York, as mother and daughter, Patsy and Tru, live out separate fates that are connected by blood, but also by huge, unseen forces of politics, class, and race.
Patsy discovers that life as an undocumented worker in a city that is only becoming more stratified by wealth may not have been worth the price.
Dennis-Benn is a prodigious world-straddler, and not just geographically; her characters are memorable and fully drawn, and the devastating meta-legacies they conjure are all too real.
There’s Rachel, a part-time editor at a feminist glossy who desperately wants to break through the YA novel scene; the congenitally lucky Sunny, who has married rich and is the kind of woman who simply deems herself “a creative”; and poor Geraldine, who is getting over a devastating breakup.
As successes ebb and flow and alliances strain and stretch, Mechling zooms in on the constrictor knot of adult female friendships.
The sociable showgirls quickly resume Vivian’s education, bringing her up to speed in all areas.
—Michaela Bechler, Features Associate tells her son.
—Chloe Schama, Senior Editor is a renowned hepatologist, recently separated from his wife and suddenly caring for his 8-year-old son and tweenage daughter.
Along with the legends of Truman Capote and Eloise, Satow’s book tells of Betty Friedan’s all-female lunch in 1969 (an event that caused the flustered maître d’ to order the table removed from the premises), and time-travels from the original Plaza to the opening of the existing version, in 1907, up to the present, showing it’s always been an establishment in flux.
What began as a restaurant underneath the lobby was soon intentionally flooded and turned into a frozen ice-skating rink in the summer months; a few years after that, it became a racetrack for the owner’s nephew to race his miniature electric car.
“You have to because I don’t have the English to help you.” The loosely constructed novel is the unfolding of this path—in its simplest outline, it’s the story of a mother and son who are struggling to find their way in an unfamiliar culture.
But it is also a bildungsroman that vacillates between moments of piercing tenderness and savage brutality, set against quixotic hopes of the American dream and the devastation of the opioid crisis.