“New York-the Novel” by Edward Rutherfurd

The Big Apple. The Twin Towers. The Statue of Liberty. Central Park. Fifth Avenue. Park Avenue. The Guggenheim.  Timesquare.

All these words, places, images, buildings all point to one city: New York.

What is so special about New York? What attracts people from all different parts of the world to that one city? Why are New Yorkers special?

Sure, to anyone today, New York has become the mecca for everything and for everyone: models, painters, writers, bankers, musical actors, students. I can close my eyes and see the light, the glamour, the excitement. And all this exterior often makes us forget what New York really is, and has been.

Through a long journey expanding on centuries, Edward Rutherfurd takes New York lovers beyond the shimmering Christmas lights of the Rockefeller Center and the high sky scrapers of Manhattan to New York’s core. New York is more than the thrill it inspires in its visitors. New York is history. History of the Indians, the Dutch, the British, the Irish, the Germans, the Italians, the Jews. All of them are linked to one another, with threads that might be thicker than some others, but nonetheless that, like a giant and intricate spider web, brings all of them together through the city that is New York.

Rutherfurd does not only succeed in narrating the history of the city, along with some parts of history from UK and the US in general. He also tells us a story, the story of individuals, of families. And just like one of his critics puts it, he makes history fun.

At the end of the day, although destroyed by war, ravaged by racism, pushed to despair by financial crises, shocked by the 9/11 attack, New York still remains a city of freedom, hope, love and dreams. Most of all, it’s a city that allows tradition to align with novelty.

 

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