Knopf, May 2001, 23.00, 304 pp.
In 1970 Lower Manhattan, Cornhusker Edwin Anderson meets native Roz Rosenzweig while both are on hands and knees searching for a key to an apartment where a party is occurring. To her surprise the saucy Roz finds she actually likes the “Gimp”, nicknamed for his skiing prowess or lack of. A few months later, Roz and Edwin marry and soon have a child.
By the time their child Miranda reaches fifth grade, the marriage between Edwin and Roz disintegrates as she only has time for their daughter. Roz vows to be her daughter's best friend. However, as Miranda grows up, she wants a mother not a sister. As she struggles with relationships, Miranda knows she cannot turn to her mother for comfort because Roz is growing up too.
THE GOOD PEOPLE OF New York is an entertaining in depth look at growing up in Manhattan in the 1970s and 1980s. The story line contains a twist to the typical coming of age story as a loving mother and daughter grow up simultaneously and thus heartbreakingly impact their relationship even as they clearly love one another. New York has rarely been seen through a "clearer" kaleidoscope then the one that Thisbe Nissen provides the reader. The author's debut novel will thrill readers who enjoy looking back a two to three decades within an emotional tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner