New York City -- fiction
March 12, 1888
She was waiting for her fiancé.
In the fine house on Fifth Avenue, Prudence MacKenzie wrapped her shawl a little tighter around her and looked out onto piles of snow that blanketed everything in glittering cold and listened to the wind howl as it paralyzed the city.
New Yorkers were used to dealing with snow, but the blizzard that struck on that late winter day was one for the history books. Surely her fiancé Charles wasn’t out in it. Surely. He was a sensible man, after all.
After the horrors of World War I and the resulting social trauma, young men and women who survived came to be known as The Lost Generation because they never recovered from all of their losses and suffering. To deal with their pain, many of them lived by the adage, “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” The Roaring Twenties, also known as the Jazz Age, was born.
It’s 1977, and New York City is in chaos.
After a freezing winter, the summer’s stifling heat has everyone on edge. Poverty is on the rise, and the city’s finances are in ruins. Arsonists set buildings on fire, seemingly at random, while a serial killer nicknamed Son of Sam shoots dark-haired young women and their companions on the street.
In Burn Baby Burn, Meg Medina brings these notorious events to life with the story of Nora Lopez, a 17-year-old high school senior living in Queens. Though she's living through a horrific period of New York history, Nora is just trying to make it through to graduation and escape her disastrous living situation.
Brooklyn is a tough place to grow up in the early part of the 20th century. It’s made of immigrant families struggling to get by. Young Francie Nolan, half German and half Irish, adores her handsome father, the sometime singing waiter, and her more hard-minded mother who scrubs floors and does much to give her kids a better life. But, uneducated as her parents are, they have few choices and huge problems that a bright girl like Francie can certainly see.
Edward Rutherfurd’s New York is an intriguing saga of immigrant families spanning four centuries.
Did you know that you can eat milkweed? This is one of the interesting facts I learned from Ruth Reichl’s debut novel, Delicious!
At the age of 10, Billie Breslin discovered she had a gift. She is able to recreate the recipe for a cake based on her memory of the flavors she tasted in that cake. Eleven years later, Billie finds herself in New York, far from her family in California, applying for a job, not as a chef but as an administrative assistant for a food magazine, Delicious.
While at the magazine, Billie uncovers a series of letters written during World War II between a young girl, Lulu, and Mr. Beard, a former employee of the magazine and a chef. Billie becomes fascinated with them and wants to learn more about Lulu. As Billie attempts to solve the mystery of Lulu’s letters, she works on issues in her own life.
Set in the Gilded Age of the 1890s through the beginning of the 20th century, Clara and Mr. Tiffany, by Susan Vreeland, paints a not always pretty picture of New Yorkers’ lives during one of the city’s most bustling periods. These were the days when the Statue of Liberty was new, thousands of hopeful European immigrants crowded into slums, and, for a few talented and lucky young women, there was a chance to be independent and earn good wages at Mr. Tiffany’s stained glass studio.