Thursday, June 4, 2009

Book Review - What Else is New?

The Ballad of West Tenth Street: A Novel (P.S.) The Ballad of West Tenth Street: A Novel by Marjorie Kernan

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
A very different type of book. The Hollander family consists of Sadie, the widow of a rock star, and her 3 children, Gretchen, Ondine, and Hamish, and they live in a fading brownstone in NYC. Sadie depends on vodka to get her through the day, Gretchen is in a "loonybin", Ondine is a budding concert pianist, and Hamish is a gangly growing adolescent. The story has the quality of a fairy tale: a rich eccentric moves next door and plays fairy godfather to the struggling family, a homeless Vietnam vet, a non-union plumber/handyman, a Guatemalan housekeeper, and an interior decorator. At times I was tempted to abandon the book, but something about the story kept tugging, and I'm glad I stuck with it.

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