Book Review: The New Yorkers

The New Yorkers
By Cathleen Schine

Once again I judged a book by it's cover, though this time I did not get burned too bad. It was a chick read, so that was slightly lame, but it was very light reading, it took place in the greatest city in the world and it also included tons and tons of dogs.

The story weaves in and out of a group of New Yorkers' lives. The chick read aspects include crushes, break ups, divorces, light stalking, secret longing and age differences. There's very minimal sex, which is always a plus. There's fun descriptions of New York, though not a ton. And, as with practically every story about New York, I still wonder what the hell these people do for a living. One of the characters is a school teacher, but how exactly does a school teacher afford living in Manhattan's Lower East side so close to Central Park.

There was a nice, natural and contemporary touch with the blackout. One forgets how close that was to 9/11 and how much it must have freaked New Yorkers out, as was portrayed in the book. It also reminded me of how hot that summer was.

Although there was a variety of relationships in the book, one I found mos interesting was that of Polly, 26, and Everett who has a daughter just about 6 years younger than Polly. Age always matters. It might not be negative, but it always matters. In the book, that fact shines when Polly wonders why Everett talks about his daughter all the time, thinking it unnatural. I was a bit astounded by that flaw in the character, because I'm 26 and I thought it completely natural.

The book definitely brings out how happy dogs make humans; that was easily my favorite part. Dogs make people happy and people make people miserable. They are only human, of course.

This was not a thought-provoking piece and didn't strike me as a great book. If you're not a chick and you don't love dogs, this probably isn't for you. There was, however, one particularly great passage that I enjoyed:
"Has it ever occurred to you that bossiness is a kind of generosity? A need to share what the gods have miraculously bestowed?" (p. 81)

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