All posts tagged: NYC

Why I’m on the fence about the critically-acclaimed INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE, plus a writing prompt

By Leslie Lindsay A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget. ~ALWAYS WITH A BOOK | Leslie Lindsay~ Spotlight: Historical Fiction I  might be an outlier on this one. It seems everyone either loves ADDIE LARUE, or they could do without. I’m in the ‘without’ category, and I don’t say that to be lightly. Really, I wanted to love this story, it just didn’t strike like I hoped.  Quick Take: France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world. New York City, 2014: But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name. Quick Thoughts: I was all-in with …

Amy ShEARN talks about her sublime new book, UNSEEN CITY, BROOKLYN, how she believes in ghosts, old houses, books she was influenced by and asks me a question, too

By Leslie Lindsay  A multigenerational tapestry of homes, neighborhoods, ghosts, and more in this bold and atmospheric novel. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ When I heard UNSEEN CITY by Amy Shearn (Red Hen Press, September 2020), I knew I had to get my hands on it. It’s a bit of a love letter to NYC (Brooklyn, in particular), but also to those childhood books that shaped us as readers (and writers!) and also about a little-known neighborhood called Weeksville. But it’s also about love and grief and ghosts and oh gosh…it’s just so good. Meg Rhys is a self-identified spinster librarian. She lives alone–with her beloved cat–in a rent-controlled Brooklyn apartment. On Friday evenings, she grabs her pile of holds from the library and bikes home, staying in most of the weekend, because that’s how she likes it. But she’s mourning the loss of her dead sister, who died tragically in an accident. She soon becomes obsessed with a library patron who is researching a possibly haunted house. His house. Rather, his parents. That house has it’s own story to …

Renee Rosen about her spring 2021 historical fiction featuring the vanderbilts & Astors in THE SOCIAL GRACES, plus fancy houses, what she learned, more

By Leslie Lindsay  Longtime feud between NYC’s upper-crust women, Mrs. Vanderbilt and Mrs. Astor, THE SOCIAL GRACES is an atmospheric and gorgeous tale of the Gilded Age. ~WEDNESDAYS WITH AUTHORS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ HISTORICAL FICTION SERIES Renee Rosen, bestselling author of PARK AVENUE SUMMER, delivers readers a peek behind the curtain at one of the most remarkable feuds in history: Mrs. Vanderbilt and Mrs. Astor’s notorious battle for control of New York society during the Gilded Age in THE SOCIAL GRACES (Berkley: April, 2021). In the glittering world of Manhattan’s upper crust, where wives turn a blind eye to husbands‘ infidelities, and women have few rights and even less independence, society is everything. The more celebrated the hostess, the more powerful the woman. And none is more powerful than Caroline Astor–the Mrs. Astor. But times are changing. Alva Vanderbilt has recently married into one of America’s richest families. But what good is money when society refuses to acknowledge you? When it carries on just as it has done for generations? Alva, who knows what it is …

Cara Wall talks about her incisive and gorgeously written debut, THE DEARLY BELOVED, about faith, love, marriage, family, struggle, and even autism

By Leslie Lindsay Stunningly executed first novel is brimming with conflict, but also hope, and the most astute writing. A Today show “Read with Jenna” Book Club Selection*** “A moving portrait of love and friendship set against a backdrop of social change.” —The New York Times Book Review (Editor’s Choice) Entertainment Weekly calls The Dearly Beloved “the best book about faith in recent memory.” Plus, readers are saying it’s an instant-classic, traversing multiple generations. I love THE DEARLY BELOVED (Simon & Schuster, August 2019) by Cara Wall. This has got to be one of the most stirring and incisive debuts I have read in a long time. Writing with a restrained lyricism, Cara Wall’s THE DEARLY BELOVED is about marriage, beliefs, faith, friendships, conflicts, and motherhood. Beginning in the 1950s and traversing through the 1960s, we are truly immersed in the world of Charles and Lily, at college in Boston, when Charles strays from the academic path held by his father and wants to become a minister. But then he finds Lily, who is a skeptic –and for good reason. She’s …

The storied–and haunted–history of one of NYC’s iconic hotels, THE CHELSEA GIRLS by Fiona Davis is about friendship, theater, and McCarthyism

By Leslie Lindsay  Spanning the 1940s thru 1960s, THE CHELSEA GIRLS pulls back the curtain (literally) on the political pressures of McCarthyism, complex bonds of female friendships, and the creative call of the NYC Chelsea Hotel.  I’ve been a fan of Fiona Davis since her debut, THE DOLLHOUSE (2016), about The Barbizon Hotel, home of girls in secretarial school in the 1950s, and was thrilled to receive a copy of her forthcoming THE CHELSEA GIRLS, about another iconic NYC hotel. It’s elegantly shabby–there’s glam and glitz and danger in the 1950s Manhattan, following WWII. Many great artists, playwrights, musicians, actors, and poets call the Chelsea home, but something else stalks these halls. Hazel Ripley has spent her life on the sidelines–always an understudy, never a lead. And she’s still reeling from the death of her beloved brother. She and Maxine strike up a friendship while on a USO tour and it’s through Maxine that she learns of the Chelsea Hotel as a mecca for creative types. When she returns to NYC after the war, she finds herself at the …

Amy Impellizzeri shares this personal essay on her ‘non-partisan political novel,’ WHY WE LIE, the #metoo movement, & more

By Leslie Lindsay Piercingly observant, timely and oh-so-topical, Amy Impellizzeri shares this essay about her new release, WHY WE LIE, combining social media, politics, and the workplace culture. Everyone lies. The real surprise is WHY… I’ve been a fan of Amy’s work since her debut, LEMONGRASS HOPE (2014) and like anyone who practices her craft, Amy gets better and better with every book. She is seriously talented, with jaw-dropping twists, turns, and complex characters. Her new book, WHY WE LIE (available March 5th from Wyatt-Mackenzie) is so timely, so topical, and so…intricate. Today, she’s sharing this lovely personal essay about her experience with working as an attorney in D.C. in the 1990s. Featured in Publisher’s Weekly and garnering rave reviews like this one from Hank Phillippi Ryan, Nationally Best-selling author of TRUST ME: “Amy Impellizzeri is incredibly talented! She turns the truth topsy-turvy in this sinister and surprising tale of greed, politics, and power. Timely and thought-provoking—this is exactly what psychological suspense is meant to be. A winner in every way.” First a bit about …

Behind the walls of an old house, lie secrets that generations have kept hidden from one another. Helen Klein Ross talks about obsessions, motherhood, and more in THE LATECOMERS

By Leslie Lindsay  Spellbinding historical fiction spanning five generations, plenty of secrets, richly researched, and highly detailed, THE LATECOMERS is perfect for fans of J. Courtney Sullivan, Christina Baker Klein, and even Jenny Worth of CALL THE MIDWIFE. Helen Klein Ross has outdone herself. Several years ago, I read her stunning and compelling WHAT WAS MINE and immediately fell in love; that story stuck with me and I raced to the climatic ending. THE LATECOMERS (Little, Brown November 2018) is a completely different kind of tale–but it’s just as good and showcases Klein-Ross’s historical writing–which absolutely shimmers. The author’s research is evident as much of the book features experiences of America and beyond through the years 1908-2018–and isn’t overdone. We start off in 1908 Ireland–Bridey is 16 years old when she runs off with her beau, Thom to America. Thom dies suddenly of ship fever on their ocean crossing and Bridey finds herself alone and pregnant in NYC. Forced to give the baby up for adoption, Bridey then takes a job as a housekeeper at a lavish estate, Hollingwood. But that child continues to haunt …

Who knew Grand Central Terminal had a defunct art school? Fiona Davis explores art, history, and the intersection of the 1970s NYC in THE MASTERPIECE

By Leslie Lindsay  Gorgeous book inside and out (total cover crush!) about blazingly unique–and strong–woman separated by two different time periods and combining art, history, NYC, and a bit of woman’s lib. Fiona is joining us to chat about Depression-era art, real-life inspiration behind her fictional characters, how story and art is so important in times of unrest, and an inkling of her next book.  Fiona Davis has wow-ed me once again with THE MASTERPIECE (Dutton, August 7 2018), which I feel is exactly that–her best yet. What she excels at is in this and also THE DOLLHOUSE (2016) and THE ADDRESS (2017) is so apparent: meticulous research makes for a rich reading experience; plus dazzling prose, an element of mystery, and intriguing characters. It’s 1928 and Clara Darden is a single woman artist living in NYC and teaching at the little-known Grand Central School of Art (which existed between 1924-1944 at the Grand Central Terminal). Clara is an up-and-coming illustrator but many of her contemporaries don’t consider illustrations ‘real art.’ But it’s her dream. She wants to …

Amber Brock on her ‘breezy’ historical novel set in the 1950s, LADY BE GOOD

By Leslie Lindsay  Captivating tale of glamour and glitz in the early-mid 1950s traversing culture and cities, including NYC, Havana, and Miami. She chats with me about how research is probably her most favorite part of writing, the political and social climate of the mid-century, how she loves CRAZY RICH ASIANS (movie coming!), and so much more LADY BE GOOD (Crown, June 26 2018) pairs perfectly with a rum and Coke or a strawberry daiquiri and a sun-drenched patio. I found Amber Brock quickly and effortlessly transported me to the time period and the various cities in the story–I felt every scarf and blouse, every hair-do and every pair of sandals, that’s Brock’s greatest strength here– capturing the time period with absolute perfection. She’s clearly done her homework because these characters–Kitty and Hen–practically jump off the page with their accessories and ways of speaking. Kitty is a rich socialite who primarily lives off her father’s money; he owns several high-class hotels in NYC, but in other cities, too (namely, Havana and Miami). Kitty is at marrying age and her …

Wednesdays with Writers: Debut author, A.J. Finn on his HOT bestselling psych thriller, WOMAN IN THE WINDOW, how he hates the ‘post-truth era,’ his favorite ear worm of 2018 (so far), lifting the stigma on mental health, plus those black & white films that inspired the book

By Leslie Lindsay  Intricate and suspenseful and utterly unputdownable, THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW is on-par with smart, psychological thrillers that will stay with you long after you close the book for the final time.  THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW is the most widely acquired novel of all time. Prior to publication, THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW (William Morrow, January 2 2018) had been sold 38 territories around the world, and Fox 200, the makers of LIFE OF PI and HIDDEN FIGURES preempted the film rights, with Oscar winner Scott Rudin producing and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tracy Letts writing the script. Stephen King loves it. So does Gillian Flynn and Ruth Ware. Oh, and it’s a debut for A.J. But it doesn’t read like one. THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW is smooth, rich, complex, and layered. 38 year old Anna Fox is a child psychologist by training but dealing with a severe case of agoraphobia herself.  Alcoholism plays a role, too and so does her faulty memory. Anna Fox has been a prisoner of her own …