Edith's crumbling Brooklyn apartment building is home to an eclectic collection of tenants: Adeleine, Thomas, Paulie and Edward, each and every one struggling with the challenges of daily life. However, when Edith's son Owen comes sniffing around sporting brochures for homes for the elderly, and plans for the brownstone, this diverse group of New York residents unite to protect their ailing landlady.
Written with short chapters allowing the narrative to move easily between its memorable characters, this is a heart-warming story of home, community and connection.
Not an enjoyable book but worth reading if only for the thoughtful and sympathetic development of the characters. We didn't like the short chapters as there was no time to become engaged with the characters before you were on to the next one. Not one we would recommend.
Too wordy. Characterisation was good and each character continued to develop. A compassionate, empathetic view of ageing, coping, and community.
No one in our group really enjoyed this book. Quite a few either didn't finish it or skimmed through. We found it 'bitty' and confusing, one member described it as 'weird'. The most appealing character was Paulie and we spent some time discussing Williams and other similar syndromes. Information about the fireflies was interesting. A disappointing read, we all agreed we wouldn't recommend it.
Quite a mixed response from our group. A couple did not read it at all and several dropped out along the way. Because the characters were all damaged it was hard to empathise and the promised engagement in the final third of the book wasnt the improvement our readers had hoped for... Williams Syndrome was an interesting addition and Paulie the most engaging character. Not a book we will be recommending to others!
Our review of this book was very interesting! It occupied a lot more time than usual and opinions were varied. Generally everyone liked the characterisation and could draw parallels with the plight of these sadly damaged individuals. We wondered where they could possibly end up today when Brooklyn has become gentrified And also whether boarding houses in NZ still cater for people like them. A thought provoking read - some members felt it became contrived towards the end, but felt it was well worth persevering with.
An ok read, but not a favourite. Interesting characters. It prompted learning about Williams' syndrome.
The majority were ambivalent about this book. It's more a selection of short stories - some said. Some stories were better than others.
Enjoyed by all.
The group found the first half descriptions of the characters interesting, but felt the second half was spoilt by the author's very over descriptive prose.
Those of us who completed the book found it a good read. An unusual writing style which became increasingly readable with progression of the story.
It was a gentle story. The characters were a real community, helping each other. However, it was a bit flowery in the language, especially at the start. Mixed reviews from our group. One member not able to finish, others enjoyed it.
Really mixed response. 2/12 didn't finish the book - even those who scored it highly had mixed feelings. Some of the writing was beautiful, some seemed contrived. Lots of animated discussion - had to stop to make time for coffee.