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Morningside Heights

A Novel

by Joshua Henkin

Morningside Heights by Joshua Henkin X
Morningside Heights by Joshua Henkin
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  • Published May 2022
    304 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Page 3 of 6
There are currently 37 member reviews
for Morningside Heights
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  • Elizabeth L. (Langhorne, PA)
    Simply Honest
    Morningside Heights came at me quickly and kept me riveted through all the details, the dialogue, and the feelings. The prose is straightforward and realistic. It is still hard to believe that the novel spans forty years in the lives of Pru and Spence Robin. Because a good part of the story is focused on their children, I selfishly found myself wanting more details about their marriage prior to Spence's decline. Being a wife in my late 50's, I could only dreadfully imagine if my spouse had Alzheimer's. Mr. Henkin's ability to evoke feelings and move you through time is effortless. I would recommend this book to all married people (whether in a book club or not).
  • Suzanne G. (Tucson, AZ)
    The story kept my interest with the characters intertwined with love and consideration. It was a plot that was hard for me to read as our family is beginning to deal with my husband's similar dementia. The book introduced me to a concerning progress situation that has nowhere to go but backwards. I certainly gave Pru credit for control; I end up with anger at times. I will recommend Morningside Heights to my book club — much we can discuss.
  • Rebecca R. (Western USA)
    Very Realistic and Engaging Story of a Marriage
    One of my favorite aspects of this modern story is that the characters are very realistic. Pru Steiner, for example, comes from a family in which the dad follows kosher rules but her mother does not. As for Pru, she feels too constrained - even as a kid- when attending the Torah Academy. So it is quite surprising when Pru, as a Columbia University student, begins dating and eventually moves into the apartment of the man she's fallen in love with that she makes his kitchen kosher.

    Pru goes from being a person who made fun of female students who seemed to be in college simply to obtain that proverbial "MRS." degree to being a Mrs. herself.

    Although this book is very much about love and relationships, it treats marriage very realistically. Pru and husband Spence Robin have great days and crummy days. For a while they seem to have it all, but life is not 100% perfect. There's also a challenging child from a previous marriage and then some unexpected, very serious challenges.

    Throughout the book, author Joshua Henkin references the many landmarks and popular restaurants in the real Morningside Heights area of New York. It makes for fun reading. I have recommended this book to several friends. The reason I rated this with 4 of 5 stars is that it seemed a little slow at times.
  • Carol R.
    Life can be messy and unpredictable...
    I was expecting a classic story about a family dealing with the harsh diagnosis of Alzheimer's. While Spence's early diagnosis of this terrible disease is the focus, we also learn that this outwardly successful family has lots of dysfunction. They struggle to find a place in their family for Arlo, Spence's son from a prior marriage. I found myself wanting Arlo to finally find his place in their family. We get snippets of ways in which the entire family is affected by the loss of Spence's distinguished teaching career, and how caregiving can be so challenging and depleting. The book held my attention from the beginning. I think it would make a great book club discussion.
  • Lynn D. (Kingston, NY)
    Blood is thicker than water
    Morningside Heights is an easy and engaging read which explores themes of family dynamics over the time of a long marriage. This is primarily the story of Pru's marriage, although we do at times get the story through the eyes of the daughter and stepson. As her husband, Spence's health deteriorates, Pru, and the children deal with family expectations, acceptance, grief, and loss. As a subplot we have the primary caregiver and her son mirroring their parent-child relationship.
    Overall, I think this is a sympathetic and somewhat predictable portrayal of a family coping with challenging times.
  • Sandra C. (Rensselaer, NY)
    Love a mind health hardships
    This book held my interest throughout. It struggles with the difficulty of caring for a loving partner with Alzheimer's. How do you nurture your own needs when your spouse can no longer do that. In addition it dealt with family secrets.
  • Wendy F. (Kalamazoo, MI)
    Great read
    Really enjoyed this story of a blended family and the unfortunate things they suffer through over the years. The characters are developed quite well and it reads beautifully. Pru is faced with a difficult diagnosis for Spence and this novel shows how she deals with it with and without her daughter and Spence's son. These people are so real and the situation is heart wrenching. The relationship that Pru forms with Spence's caretaker Ginny is also a vital part of the story.


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