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Carnegie Hill: Book summary and reviews of Carnegie Hill by Jonathan Vatner

Carnegie Hill

by Jonathan Vatner

Carnegie Hill by Jonathan Vatner X
Carnegie Hill by Jonathan Vatner
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2019
    352 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Deception is just another day in the lives of the Upper East Side's elite.

At age thirty-three, Penelope "Pepper" Bradford has no career, no passion and no children. Her intrusive parents still treat her like a child. Moving into the Chelmsford Arms with her fiancé Rick, an up-and-coming financier, and joining the co-op board give her some control over her life―until her parents take a gut dislike to Rick and urge Pepper to call off the wedding. When, the week before the wedding, she glimpses a trail of desperate text messages from Rick's obsessed female client, Pepper realizes that her parents might be right.

She looks to her older neighbors in the building to help decide whether to stay with Rick, not realizing that their marriages are in crisis, too. Birdie and George's bond frays after George is forced into retirement at sixty-two. And Francis alienates Carol, his wife of fifty years, and everyone else he knows, after being diagnosed with an inoperable heart condition. To her surprise, Pepper's best model for love may be a clandestine gay romance between Caleb and Sergei, a black porter and a Russian doorman.

Jonathan Vatner's Carnegie Hill is a belated-coming-of-age novel about sustaining a marriage―and knowing when to walk away. It chronicles the lives of wealthy New Yorkers and the staff who serve them, as they suffer together and rebound, struggle to free themselves from family entanglements, deceive each other out of love and weakness, and fumble their way to honesty.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[A] charming, comically observant debut… it's [Vatner's] consistently wry wit and obvious affection for his deluded, struggling characters that are this novel's propelling forces, and which will win readers over with delight." – Booklist (starred review)

"Vatner's debut novel is absorbing and comforting in its omniscient perspective and delicate handling of its carousel of characters. A good old-fashioned read on the venerable theme of marriage." - Kirkus Reviews

"Vatner's keen eye for domestic dissatisfaction will remind readers of Laurie Colwin. He populates the Chelmsford Arms with a delightful cast of characters, but best of all is Pepper herself, a charming, contemporary update of an Edith Wharton character. This debut will entertain and satisfy readers." - Publishers Weekly

"The Chelmsford Arms, the apartment building at the center of Jonathan Vatner's debut novel, is a bubble within a bubble, a Galapagos of the rich, full of beautifully bizarre mutations that exist nowhere else. A shrewd comic tale of old lovers, young lovers, and the blanket of privilege that both warms and binds them all. A marvelous book." – Jonathan Dee, Pulitzer Prize finalist for The Privileges

"Wit and high hilarity propel us through the pages of this tale of irrepressible lovers who are never on secure ground for long. There's wisdom at the heart of this wonderfully buoyant novel." – Kathleen Hill, author of New York Times Notable Book Still Waters in Niger

"A shrewd confection of a novel, fun to read and warm at heart―full of neighborly sideswiping, unfeedable appetites, and an overview that sees the pride and fragility of it all. The vibrant cast makes this a page-turner―you won't envy these people for a second but you'll have a great time watching them undo and fix themselves." – Joan Silber, 2017 National Book Critics Circle Award winner and the PEN/Faulkner Award winner for Improvement

The information about Carnegie Hill shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Jonathan Vatner

Jonathan Vatner is an award-winning journalist who has written for the New York Times; O, The Oprah Magazine; Poets & Writers; and many other publications. He has an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College and a BA in cognitive neuroscience from Harvard University. He lives in Yonkers, NY with his husband and cats. Carnegie Hill is his first novel.

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