The Lost Legends of New Jersey
AbeBooks Mitglied seit 1996
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AbeBooks Mitglied seit 1996
Titel: The Lost Legends of New Jersey
Verlag: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Dust Jacket Included
Auflage: 1st Edition
Über diesen Titel
Romeo and Juliet in northern New Jersey? Yiddish constellations in Asbury Park? A garbage dump in the Meadowlands that's filled with old musical instruments from a high school marching band? Love and sex, hockey and snorkeling, a family that is falling apart despite the best intentions-this is what Frederick Reiken has delivered in his brilliant second novel.But the real subject is true love, the one and only-known in Yiddish as b'shert. Anthony Rubin, the young protagonist, isn't sure whether he's found it with his neighbor, Juliette, daughter of a reputed Mafioso. His mother, who quits the family after her husband's affair with a neighbor, doesn't believe in true love at all. But his father does, and so does Anthony's grandpa, who meets the love of his life at 78. Reiken is known for creating characters you feel you've known all your life, for mapping landscapes with profound intimacy and wonder. The Lost Legends of New Jersey is a rich, resonant book, filled with joy as well as heartbreak, and the extraordinary magic that can arise within ordinary lives.
In Frederick Reiken's first novel, The Odd Sea, a family grappled with an almost unreal dilemma: the unsolved disappearance of a son. His second effort, The Lost Legends of New Jersey, is also a family saga. But this time the focus--the suburban dissolution of the Rubin clan--is more mundane, and the novel's casual eye toward chronology keeps the plot from accumulating much in the way of momentum. Indeed, the only way young Anthony Rubin can make sense of his experience is to give it a legendary spin:
He was always doing that, making things up, trying to see how it all might fit into a legend. He didn't understand why he did this, because New Jersey was not a legend. It was the armpit of America, according to most people. Still he saw everything around him as a legend.Anthony, of course, has plenty to contend with. His father, Michael, is a none-too-subtle (if goodhearted) adulterer. His mother, Jess, is prone to breakdowns and would rather be underwater at any given moment than with her children. His best friend, Jay, drifts away when Michael's smoldering affair with Jay's mother begins to disrupt the Rubin marriage. And the alluring girl next door, the brash daughter of a high-stakes gambler, seems always just out of reach. Reiken's style remains unblinking and direct throughout, suggesting that there are no good guys or bad guys in Livingston, New Jersey--just complex, tangible people who remind us what it is to be human. And while Anthony's losses may feel devastating, or even legendary, he knows that they are ultimately survivable. "It's always strange to me that all this is so comforting," he says. "And yet it is." --Brangien Davis
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