New York: The Novel, by Edward Rutherfurd

I love New York.  I miss New York.  I cannot understand now how I took it for granted, never realizing how unbelievably lucky I was to live there for almost 30 years.  I left without a backward glance, not knowing that I had it all.  Other areas in the country have wonderful attributes, but no other place has it all.  New York has it all.  I picked pumpkins, swam in the ocean, took a ferry to see Lady Liberty, rode in some ancient elevators, visited farms, sunned on the beach, dug clams and mussels with my feet, climbed trees, and went to MOMA - and I could do all that in one weekend.  Subways are awesome. When you no longer have mass transit, you realize just how fabulous mass transit really is - and how driving a car everywhere is not nearly as much fun as you thought it was when you were seventeen.

So Edward Rutherfurd's book practically leapt off the shelf at me.  I was thinking, "My hometown!" and of course you can imagine my sigh.  I had to have it.

He begins at the beginning, and this is a sweeping history of New York, from 1664 to 2009.  The Detroit Free Press likens him to Michener, and indeed, he covers three centuries of NYC history, interwoven with fictional characters you'll love and hate (no I'm not naming names) and historical figures like John Jay, Washington, Lincoln and the iconic J. P. Morgan.

Rutherfurd's research is what really sells me on this novel.  It's extensive, accurate and I'm still reading a story.  I like to learn from my historical fiction, and he does not disappoint.  I am more knowledgeable about my favorite place on Earth, and I feel smarter having read this novel, and you will too!   Highly recommend.

I also recommend his website - completely engaging and enjoyable.  Don't miss his comments on history professors.


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