The BookBrowse Review

Published June 9, 2021

ISSN: 1930-0018

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Contents

In This Edition of
The BookBrowse Review

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Editor's Introduction
Reviews
Hardcovers Paperbacks
First Impressions
Latest Author Interviews
Recommended for Book Clubs
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Novels


Historical Fiction


Short Stories/Essays


Mysteries


Thrillers


Biography/Memoir


History, Science & Current Affairs


Young Adults

Romance

  • Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson , et al (rated 5/5)

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Speculative, Alt. History


Extras
Book Jacket

The Great Mistake
by Jonathan Lee
15 Jun 2021
304 pages
Publisher: Knopf
Genre: Historical Fiction
Critics:
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From the acclaimed author of High Dive comes an enveloping, exultant novel of New York City at the turn of the twentieth century, a story of one man's rise to fame and fortune, and his mysterious murder.

Andrew Haswell Green is dead, shot at the venerable age of eighty-three, when he thought life could hold no more surprises. The killing--on Park Avenue, in broad daylight, on Friday the thirteenth--shook the city. Green was born to a poor farmer, yet without him there would be no Central Park, no Metropolitan Museum of Art, no Museum of Natural History, no New York Public Library. And Green had a secret, a life locked within him that now, in the hour of his death--alone, misunderstood--is set to break free. As the detective assigned to Green's case chases his ghost across the city, we meet a wealthy courtesan, a brokenhearted man in a bowler hat, and a lawyer turned politician whose decades-long friendship with Green is the source of both his troubles and his joys.

A work of tremendous depth and piercing emotion, The Great Mistake is the story of a city transformed, a murder that made a private man infamous, and a portrait of a singular individual who found the world closed off to him--yet enlarged it.

"An exceptional work of historical fiction about one of the key figures in the development of 19th-century New York City...A highly satisfying mix of mystery and character portrait, revealing the constrained heart beneath the public carapace." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"[A]mbitious...Lee's two-tiered structure falters slightly under the weight of Green's copious resume, but he sustains a captivating strangeness in his depiction of the period...By and by, a dynamic all-American character emerges, making for an audacious historical." - Publishers Weekly

"Rich and riveting...A triumph of humane historical portraiture, and one of the finest and most pleasurable New York novels I have ever read." - LitHub

"Jonathan Lee is quietly becoming one of the best young novelists on either side of the Atlantic. The Great Mistake is a sweeping historical novel that is also a gripping mystery." - The Observer (UK)

"Jonathan Lee's wily, virtuosic, very beautiful new novel is an intimate portrait of a public man that also serves as an X-ray of America. The Great Mistake is a great novel of New York, in which the shaping of public space becomes inextricable from the loneliness, longing, and ferocious ambition of a single, damaged man." - Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

"Jonathan Lee is so enviably talented it leaves the reader breathless. The Great Mistake is an unparalleled feat of elegance and craftsmanship. Lee's 19th-century New York City is riveting, immersive, but best of all, it's an immaculate blend of scale: he masters both the grand historic narratives and gritty intimate details. As envisioned by Lee, the life of Green feels emblematic of the New York City he built: ambitious, fraught, thrilling, and ultimately visionary." - Stephanie Danler, author of Sweetbitter

"Few writers working today have Jonathan Lee's range or eye for detail. Fewer still are capable of roaming minds and histories with such bittersweet, richly detailed ease, or taking on with such profound depth all the messy, hilarious, heartbreaking humanity of a person, and a time, and indeed an entire city. The Great Mistake is a wonder and a delight." - Téa Obreht, author of The Tiger's Wife

Jonathan Lee is an award-winning, internationally bestselling novelist, editor, and screenwriter living in New York. His new novel, The Great Mistake (June 2021), is available for order now. His writing has been called "achingly good" in The New Yorker, and The New York Times has stated that "Lee's prose will shame just about anyone who writes for a living." (Jonathan is ashamed to be sharing this quote, but not ashamed enough to not share it.) According to The Guardian, "Lee dives deep into the minds and hearts of his characters, skillfully shoring up 'the private moments history so rarely records.'" Jonathan's last novel, High Dive, was chosen as a book of the year by The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent on Sunday, and many other publications. It was also selected for the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Program and was named a New York Times Editors' Choice.

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