Visible City: Book summary and reviews of Visible City by Tova Mirvis

Visible City

A Novel

by Tova Mirvis

Visible City by Tova Mirvis X
Visible City by Tova Mirvis
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  • Published Mar 2014
    256 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

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 fiancé, 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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"In this story of chance and the temptation of change, Mirvis elicits the reader's sympathy for her characters' conflicting desires." - Publishers Weekly

"Mirvis focuses her artful prose on the inner lives of modern women and those they love as they face the possibilities of change." - Booklist

"This dark, witty, if slightly overstructured comedy about deceptive appearances evolves into a moving examination of intimacy's limitations." - Kirkus Reviews

"With artful tenderness and elegant compassion, Tova Mirvis strips her upscale Manhattanites down to their naked loneliness and longings. Her novel is as jewel-like as a stained glass window. Mirvis supplies the light, and the result is dazzling." - Rebecca Goldstein, MacArthur award-winning author of 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction

"Gorgeously written and enormously wise on the subjects of art, ambition, parenting, betrayal, and what it means to take care of the ones you love." - Lauren Grodstein, author of A Friend of the Family

"Here the hidden is made stunningly visible. One by one, facades are stripped away and the luminous interiors of strangers' lives begin to emerge: in the view-field of a sleepless woman's binoculars, in the flashlight beams of subterranean urban explorers, in the radiance filtering through a long-lost stained glass window, and, always, in the light of Tova Mirvis's kaleidoscopic, tender vision. Visible City illuminates the hearts of both its characters and its readers." - Rachel Kadish, author of Tolstoy Lied: A Love Story

"Visible City reminds us how strangers become intimates and intimates grow estranged. Mirvis writes with passion and unflinching honesty about the small grievances that accumulate until we no longer know the people we love." - Joshua Henkin, author of The World Without You

This information about Visible City was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Tova Mirvis

Tova Mirvis is the author of The Outside World and The Ladies Auxiliary, which was a national bestseller. Her essays have appeared in various anthologies and newspapers including The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, and Poets and Writers, and her fiction has been broadcast on National Public Radio. She has been a Visiting Scholar at The Brandeis Women's Studies Research Center and is a recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fiction Fellowship. She lives in Newton, MA with her three children.

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