Visible City

Visible City

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
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For fans of Meg Wolitzer and Allegra Goodman, an intimate and provocative novel about three couples whose paths intersect in their New York City neighborhood, forcing them all to weigh the comfort of stability against the costs of change.Nina is a harried young mother who spends her evenings spying on the older couple across the street through her son's Fisher-Price binoculars. She is drawn to their quiet contentment--reading on the couch, massaging each other's feet--so unlike her own lonely, chaotic world of nursing and soothing and simply getting by. One night, through that same window, she spies a young couple in the throes of passion. Who are these people, and what happened to her symbol of domestic bliss?

In the coming weeks, Nina encounters the older couple, Leon and Claudia, their daughter Emma and her fianc#65533;, and many others on the streets of her Upper West Side neighborhood, eroding the safe distance of her secret vigils. Soon anonymity gives way to different--and sometimes dangerous--forms of intimacy, and Nina and her neighbors each begin to question their own paths.

With enormous empathy and a keen observational eye, Tova Mirvis introduces a constellation of characters we all know: twenty-somethings unsure about commitments they haven't yet made; thirty-somethings unsure about the ones they have; and sixty-somethings whose empty nest causes all sorts of doubt. Visible City invites us to examine those all-important forks in the road, and the conflict between desire and loyalty.

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014.
ISBN: 9780544047747
0544047745
Characteristics: 249 p.

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jazzmin08
Sep 04, 2015

I did not enjoy this book. It wasn't so bad that I stopped reading it but I definitely wouldn't recommend it. I find the writing a bit bland and the stories were almost boring in their somewhat predictability. I didn't find the characters interesting or engaging enough.

s
Sansha
Jan 15, 2015

The story of two families who have lost the ability to communicate within their family circle. The lives of each of the family members is changed when through unexpected meetings and situations, the lives of the two families begin to inter-connect.

m
maryrosanna
Nov 05, 2014

Hands down my favourite novel of 2014; seamless interwoven stories. Even new york city, in a way, becomes a character. Highly recommended as it is so beautifully written. What a joy to read.

chulsey May 09, 2014

At the risk of sounding like a Peeping Tom I recently wrote about the allure of viewing other people’s lives through lit windows. As a fan of Hitchcock’s Rear Window I’ve watched it numerous times and never tire of the initial premise; observing people surreptitiously, imagining their lives, consumed by a vague longing based not on reality, but some sort of unidentifiable nostalgia. That’s why my heart skipped a beat when I saw a review of a new book by Tova Mirvis called Visible City. Prone to judging a book by its cover, I was drawn to the illustration of silhouettes framed by illuminated windows in an apartment building.

The book did not disappoint. In fact, after turning the last page I continued to think about the characters—I’m still thinking about them. I also had an overwhelming urge to talk to people about the book. For me this is what makes the experience of reading magical—the jolt of recognition as the author describes feelings you’ve had but couldn’t articulate, the need to pause and appreciate a finely crafted sentence, fully realized characters, and a feeling of urgency for contemplation and conversation.

The book’s cast of characters comes alive through the omniscient viewpoint of the author, and it will appeal to those who like character-driven books. Nina, a young woman who gave up her career as an attorney to be a stay-at home mom, feels trapped and frustrated. Her husband, also an attorney, works all the time (or is he really working?) and she spends her lonely evenings spying on her neighbors with her son’s toy binoculars, especially one middle-aged seemingly content couple who spend quiet hours together reading on their sofa. Little does she know that her life will soon become entangled with theirs, as well as their adult daughter’s, in irreversible ways. The other characters are equally interesting and the story unfolds with humor, insight, and pathos.

Tova Mirvis is a wise woman. She understands the complexity and ambiguity of the human heart and she knows how to craft a compelling story about identity, perception, longing, disappointment and human connection.

- See more at: http://www.tulsalibrary.org/blog/peeping-again-cindy-hulsey#sthash.kH660AwQ.dpuf

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