Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Better Homes and Husbands by Valerie Ann Leff

I need to say up front that this will not be a typical book review for me. Valerie is a writer who lives in Asheville and joined my book group after I moved. Book Group read the book last fall, and I finally got around to it in the last couple weeks.

And my first thought upon completing the book was, "Why on earth have I waited 3 months to pick up this book?!" It was just a really, really good read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and had difficulty putting down the book.

The premise is this - it is the story of a high end apartment building on Park Avenue in NYC and its inhabitants. The story unfolds over 30 years and from a variety of perspectives. There is not a narrator who knows everything and part of the joy of the book is trying to piece together the story. The characters are people whose lives are very different from my own, but they are presented in such a way I feel as if I know them. They are full, interesting, and developed characters who seem quite real. Just when I am ready to despise a character, I see another side of them. They are truly complex, sympathetic people.

The storylines are compelling and intertwine in wonderful and surprising ways. I appreciate the handling of issues of wealth and justice. The understanding of love, friendship, and companionship is well done. It is a story that will stay with me for a long time. I fully recommend the book to everyone!


Edgy Mama said...

Yes, it was excellent. I'm so sad you weren't here when we discussed it!

KBO said...

From the title I thought this was going to be another chance for you to rant about your hubby! Should I recommend it for my wife's book club? They are always looking for suggestions.

Rio said...

Yes - definitely recommend!