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"City of God," the latest installment in Beverly Swerling's gripping saga of old New York, takes readers to Manhattan's clamorous streets as the nation struggles to find a compromise between slave and free, but hears the drums of war. This is New York when one synagogue is no longer adequate for thousands of Jewish immigrants, when New Evangelicals rouse complacent Protest "City of God," the latest installment in Beverly Swerling's gripping saga of old New York, takes readers to Manhattan's clamorous streets as the nation struggles to find a compromise between slave and free, but hears the drums of war. This is New York when one synagogue is no longer adequate for thousands of Jewish immigrants, when New Evangelicals rouse complacent Protestants with the promise of born-again salvation, and when it first sees Catholic nuns and calls them whores of Satan. It is New York when ships bring the fabulous wealth of nations to its wharves and auction houses, while a short distance away rival gangs fight to the death with broken bottles and teeth filed to points.Into this churning cauldron comes young Dr. Nicholas Turner. Nick knows that the discoveries of antisepsis and anesthesia promise medical miracles beyond the dreams of ages. He learns that to make such progress reality he must battle the city's corrupt politics and survive the snake pit that is Bellevue Hospital, all while resisting his love for the beautiful Carolina Devrey, his cousin's wife. Sam Devrey, head of the shipping company that bears his name and a visionary who believes the future will be ushered in by mighty clipper ships spreading acres of sail, battles demons of his own. The life he lives with Carolina in the elegant brownstone on newly fashionable Fifth Avenue is a charade meant to disguise his heart's true home, the secret downtown apartment of the exquisite Mei-hua, his Chinese child-bride. The worlds of all four are imperiled when Sam must rely on Nick's skills to save the woman he loves, and only Nick's honor guards Sam's secret. On a night when promises of hellfire seem to become reality and the city nearly burns to the ground, Carolina and Mei-hua confront the truth of their duplicitous marriages. Rage and revenge join love and passion as driving forces in a story played out against the background of the glittering New York that rises from the ashes, where Delmonico's and the Astor House host bejeweled women and top-hatted men, both with the din of commerce in their ears and the glint of gold in their eyes. As always, Swerling has conjured a dazzling cast of characters to people her city. Among those seeking born-again salvation are Addie Bellingham, befriended by the widow Manon Turner but willing to betray her, and Lilac Langton, who confesses her sins but avoids mentioning that she's a skilled abortionist in a city that has recently made abortion a crime. Ben Klein, a brilliant young physician, must balance devotion to his mentor and dedication to research with duty to the Jewish community. Wilbur Randolf, Carolina's father, indulges her in everything but fails her when she needs him most. Jenny Worthington, Wilbur's longtime mistress, is driven by avarice to make common cause with Fearless Flannagan, a member of a New York police force as corrupt as the city it serves. Ah Chee, Mei-hua's devoted servant, struggles through Manhattan's streets on bound feet and burns incense to the kitchen god in this place of foreign devils. They are all here, heroines and saints, villains and victims, and a vanished New York made to live again in an intricate tale of old debts and new rivalries.


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"City of God," the latest installment in Beverly Swerling's gripping saga of old New York, takes readers to Manhattan's clamorous streets as the nation struggles to find a compromise between slave and free, but hears the drums of war. This is New York when one synagogue is no longer adequate for thousands of Jewish immigrants, when New Evangelicals rouse complacent Protest "City of God," the latest installment in Beverly Swerling's gripping saga of old New York, takes readers to Manhattan's clamorous streets as the nation struggles to find a compromise between slave and free, but hears the drums of war. This is New York when one synagogue is no longer adequate for thousands of Jewish immigrants, when New Evangelicals rouse complacent Protestants with the promise of born-again salvation, and when it first sees Catholic nuns and calls them whores of Satan. It is New York when ships bring the fabulous wealth of nations to its wharves and auction houses, while a short distance away rival gangs fight to the death with broken bottles and teeth filed to points.Into this churning cauldron comes young Dr. Nicholas Turner. Nick knows that the discoveries of antisepsis and anesthesia promise medical miracles beyond the dreams of ages. He learns that to make such progress reality he must battle the city's corrupt politics and survive the snake pit that is Bellevue Hospital, all while resisting his love for the beautiful Carolina Devrey, his cousin's wife. Sam Devrey, head of the shipping company that bears his name and a visionary who believes the future will be ushered in by mighty clipper ships spreading acres of sail, battles demons of his own. The life he lives with Carolina in the elegant brownstone on newly fashionable Fifth Avenue is a charade meant to disguise his heart's true home, the secret downtown apartment of the exquisite Mei-hua, his Chinese child-bride. The worlds of all four are imperiled when Sam must rely on Nick's skills to save the woman he loves, and only Nick's honor guards Sam's secret. On a night when promises of hellfire seem to become reality and the city nearly burns to the ground, Carolina and Mei-hua confront the truth of their duplicitous marriages. Rage and revenge join love and passion as driving forces in a story played out against the background of the glittering New York that rises from the ashes, where Delmonico's and the Astor House host bejeweled women and top-hatted men, both with the din of commerce in their ears and the glint of gold in their eyes. As always, Swerling has conjured a dazzling cast of characters to people her city. Among those seeking born-again salvation are Addie Bellingham, befriended by the widow Manon Turner but willing to betray her, and Lilac Langton, who confesses her sins but avoids mentioning that she's a skilled abortionist in a city that has recently made abortion a crime. Ben Klein, a brilliant young physician, must balance devotion to his mentor and dedication to research with duty to the Jewish community. Wilbur Randolf, Carolina's father, indulges her in everything but fails her when she needs him most. Jenny Worthington, Wilbur's longtime mistress, is driven by avarice to make common cause with Fearless Flannagan, a member of a New York police force as corrupt as the city it serves. Ah Chee, Mei-hua's devoted servant, struggles through Manhattan's streets on bound feet and burns incense to the kitchen god in this place of foreign devils. They are all here, heroines and saints, villains and victims, and a vanished New York made to live again in an intricate tale of old debts and new rivalries.

30 review for City of God: A Novel of Passion and Wonder in Old New York

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Young

    Loved this trilogy of the history of New York. Swerling is a great historical fiction writer.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    The third book in a New York series, I was glad City of God was better than the previous one. Continuing the story of the Turner and Devrey families, this one stuck more to the families and the theme of medicine that began with the first book. Even with the addition of outside characters and the social history issues of abolition, immigration, and religion, the book was a quick, fun read. And Swerling leaves the door open for more tales. The only thing that bothered me was the pidgin English The third book in a New York series, I was glad City of God was better than the previous one. Continuing the story of the Turner and Devrey families, this one stuck more to the families and the theme of medicine that began with the first book. Even with the addition of outside characters and the social history issues of abolition, immigration, and religion, the book was a quick, fun read. And Swerling leaves the door open for more tales. The only thing that bothered me was the pidgin English used by her Chinese-speaking characters when we read their interior thoughts. I can see using such English when they are using it in dialogue with other characters (like the Irish or French dialects), but to use it with their interior thoughts, and to not do this with other characters whose first languages are not English was a bit demeaning. Her intentions mught have been to offer a greater sense of disconnect between the characters' two worlds, but I felt it was wrong.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rachelle Miller

    This was my favorite book in this series. Not as much rated r content as the first book and this series definitely should have been read in order. One thing that’s annoying me about these books, by the description, you expect them to be during the time of different wars. All of them so far are placed more before the war in question and then she barely touches on the war. I just feel like the description is slightly misleading in that. But yeah...I liked the visual of New York that these books giv This was my favorite book in this series. Not as much rated r content as the first book and this series definitely should have been read in order. One thing that’s annoying me about these books, by the description, you expect them to be during the time of different wars. All of them so far are placed more before the war in question and then she barely touches on the war. I just feel like the description is slightly misleading in that. But yeah...I liked the visual of New York that these books give. This one in particular also gave you a good view of the Chinese culture, what it was like to be an immigrant, and what it was like to be mix raced at this time. This book did have a bit of rated r stuff, but not too much and it was easily skipped over. This book definitely kept me more interested than the first two did, but it’s still not a book I’ll reread. I also don’t think I’m going to bother with the last book. I keep thinking each book sounds so good, but it never lives up to its description, and after 3 books, I don’t think the 4th should be any different. Time to move on!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jan Norris

    This is the third in a series of historical fiction about NYC. It takes place before the Civil War. I enjoyed this one as much as the first in the series. There is much about medical practices, immigration issues, slavery, religious issues, and political corruption. It was a fast paced read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Damian

    First "The Godfather Part III" and now this! Well, at least there weren't any surreal George Hamilton cameos...or were there??? He might as well have been playing one of the miscellaneous characters who wander into the plot for apparently no other reason than to attempt to nudge the narrative forward. I'm sure it must be hard to maintain the same level of intensity and creativity throughout a trilogy, but there's no excuse to coast to the finish line. Nonetheless, since the descriptions of old N First "The Godfather Part III" and now this! Well, at least there weren't any surreal George Hamilton cameos...or were there??? He might as well have been playing one of the miscellaneous characters who wander into the plot for apparently no other reason than to attempt to nudge the narrative forward. I'm sure it must be hard to maintain the same level of intensity and creativity throughout a trilogy, but there's no excuse to coast to the finish line. Nonetheless, since the descriptions of old New York City still held my attention, I'll give two rather than one star.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Wendy Skultety (gimmethatbook.com)

    So far, the best one of her 5 book series. Funny, enthralling, and vivid, without pages and pages of boring politics and history minutia like the first two. The chinese women's language was often funny and the characters held my attention right to the very end. I can only hope that the next two are written as well. So far, the best one of her 5 book series. Funny, enthralling, and vivid, without pages and pages of boring politics and history minutia like the first two. The chinese women's language was often funny and the characters held my attention right to the very end. I can only hope that the next two are written as well.

  7. 5 out of 5

    H Gibson

    I'm thoroughly enjoying Beverly Swerling's Old New York series. The third installment is the book where the thrilling storyline takes a dip and (SPOILER ALERT) the wrong people die and the good suffer. It's the longest and most rambling of the series, and I suspect it's because the authoress, as a writer of historical fiction, had a lot of cool facts/histories/details she wanted to include, and since the first two books were a success, we'll give her a pardon for cramming it into the third. She I'm thoroughly enjoying Beverly Swerling's Old New York series. The third installment is the book where the thrilling storyline takes a dip and (SPOILER ALERT) the wrong people die and the good suffer. It's the longest and most rambling of the series, and I suspect it's because the authoress, as a writer of historical fiction, had a lot of cool facts/histories/details she wanted to include, and since the first two books were a success, we'll give her a pardon for cramming it into the third. She handled it well, and while the build up is slow, I must admit the novel contains one of the best comeuppance stories I've ever read. From that point on, it's almost as if one is reading another novel with the introduction of late-in-the-story characters and plotlines which, again, Swerling handles brilliantly. (Side Note: I never have a problem with the addition of characters and plots late in the tale, and I find the absurd writing rule against it most ridiculous!) Swerling tackles religion in this novel, and like most secular writers, she does a fair job. It's easy to see with which side she falls, but I don't fault her that. She is, after all, dealing with religion which never contains entire truths.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Deb Cornell

    This is volume three of Beverly Swerling's four part historical fiction account of New York City covering the thirty years leading up to the Civil War. The DeVrey-Turner rivalry continues. The DeVrey fortune grounded in shipping and the Turner's committed to medicine see their interests collide once again. Ms. Swerling's series weaves an interesting tale which includes romance and intrigue while illuminating the evolution of medicine, shipping, the city and the nation. While each volume is fully This is volume three of Beverly Swerling's four part historical fiction account of New York City covering the thirty years leading up to the Civil War. The DeVrey-Turner rivalry continues. The DeVrey fortune grounded in shipping and the Turner's committed to medicine see their interests collide once again. Ms. Swerling's series weaves an interesting tale which includes romance and intrigue while illuminating the evolution of medicine, shipping, the city and the nation. While each volume is fully capable of standing alone, the reader would best benefit reading the entire series.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Miriel68

    I did enjoy this new instalment of the saga, even if I found some twists of the action a bit melodramatic and some others rather predictable. Still, a vivid impression of New York a the verge of becoming a big metropolis.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rio Ippoliti

    Honestly not great. Where is the passion from City of Dreams?

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bess

    She is amazing.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Veronica Martinez Casaus

    Great writing!! Enjoyed reading it, look forward to the next installment.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    What was in the canvas satchel Sam Devry gives his daughter before he dies???

  14. 4 out of 5

    Woodard Reviews

    It was easy to connect to the characters in this book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Pomiform

    The humor and wit shown by the characters was fabulous.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Demi

    Swerling's writing, could be compared to many authors in the historical genre. Swerling's writing, could be compared to many authors in the historical genre.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kristine

    This is a historicalfiction newyork book that interests you from the beginning.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Deena

    It was my first book by Swerling and I am ready for more.

  19. 4 out of 5

    S

    Beverly Swerling did a very good job of making history interesting in this book. The plot was complicated enough to keep me reading, which is usually hard, and kept me from guessing exactly what would happen next; I did occasionally get the feeling of "oh-no-I-know-what-this-character-is-going-to-do-and-I-wish-I-could-jump-into-the-book-and-stop-what's-coming." That, in my opinion, is not an entirely bad thing. The characters were likable and despicable as needed and were fairly easy to acknowle Beverly Swerling did a very good job of making history interesting in this book. The plot was complicated enough to keep me reading, which is usually hard, and kept me from guessing exactly what would happen next; I did occasionally get the feeling of "oh-no-I-know-what-this-character-is-going-to-do-and-I-wish-I-could-jump-into-the-book-and-stop-what's-coming." That, in my opinion, is not an entirely bad thing. The characters were likable and despicable as needed and were fairly easy to acknowledge as full, developed characters. She uses many people from different backgrounds and seems to point out how different-and-yet-the-same the New York of 1830-1850 and modern day America are in eerie ways which make a reader think. One criticism I do have is that I am not sure at all why the Chinese characters had to speak and think in broken English, even when it was clear that they were speaking amongst each other in Chinese, or thinking in Chinese. Clearly, when a person speaks in a native language, the language is not broken. It may not be perfect - very few native speakers have a perfect command of their own language, after all - but this seemed entirely unnecessary and a bit of a trope to make Ah Chee and Mei-Hua seem more frail, more out-of-place, and really, more useless in the world of New York. I would have given Ms. Swerling four stars for being a compelling story teller, but I can't praise the book without bringing up this glaring problem. Take it as you will.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bob

    4 1/2 Stars -- Informative And Hard-To-Put Down! Beverly Swerling's City Of God is the fourth installment of her five fictional treatments of early American history. City Of Glory is another sweeping epic of (primarily) two competitive families that takes place in New York City from the 1830s up to shortly before the start of the Civil War; and addresses issues of the times such as poor immigrants living in unsanitary neighborhoods, progress in health and medicine, religious conflict, entreprene 4 1/2 Stars -- Informative And Hard-To-Put Down! Beverly Swerling's City Of God is the fourth installment of her five fictional treatments of early American history. City Of Glory is another sweeping epic of (primarily) two competitive families that takes place in New York City from the 1830s up to shortly before the start of the Civil War; and addresses issues of the times such as poor immigrants living in unsanitary neighborhoods, progress in health and medicine, religious conflict, entrepreneurs in businesses growing wealthier and wealthier, organized labor, slavery and abolitionism. In City Of God, which is the third of Swerling's books that I've read, the author once again provides the right blend of interesting historical facts about (in this case) life in mid 1800s New York City, mystery, excitement, sex, a well-developed plot, and a array of fictional and real characters to make City Of God a book that is difficult to put down. Her strong writing ability made me feel that I stepped back over 150 years in time and was right there with the characters experiencing life during a fascinating time in our history. I highly recommend The City Of God if you are a fan of historical fiction. I'm looking forward to reading Swerling's two other books, Shadowbrook and City Of Promise.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Todd

    I really enjoyed this book! Based in New York, gives the reader an understanding of what the "New World" was like and how religion was looked upon. This book doesn't cram the history or religion to you but tells a story and gently gets you into the timeframe and circumstances. I was even so intrigued by a few things>like the "golden lilies",I did an internet search to learn more about them. Intoduced me to new things and made me think of a few in terms of the way things used to be and are now. T I really enjoyed this book! Based in New York, gives the reader an understanding of what the "New World" was like and how religion was looked upon. This book doesn't cram the history or religion to you but tells a story and gently gets you into the timeframe and circumstances. I was even so intrigued by a few things>like the "golden lilies",I did an internet search to learn more about them. Intoduced me to new things and made me think of a few in terms of the way things used to be and are now. The story is fantastic! I liked the characters, author gave enough details to envision their lives but not so many to make me want to skip ahead. Also, I want to note that I did not read the previous books in this series and I did not feel I was missing anything or that I was thrown into the middle of the story. It was a fantastic book, a little slow to start and had to read a few pages over but it quickly made up for it. Not to short, not too long, some endings leave me disappointed and this book definately left me fulfilled. One of the best books I have read in a while. I think this book would be enjoyed by anyone who likes American or Chinese history, religious, or even the medical thrillers.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    If you love historical fiction, run to the library to pick up this fast-paced, riveting story of two families set in the early 19th century NYC. The story follows the amazing rise of the city with underlying themes of the shipping business including the opium trade with China, the immigrant tensions, the conflicts between Catholics and Protestants, the medical field at the time, and the very harsh lives of the poor and orphaned. The main character has a Chinese wife (with bound feet) that he kee If you love historical fiction, run to the library to pick up this fast-paced, riveting story of two families set in the early 19th century NYC. The story follows the amazing rise of the city with underlying themes of the shipping business including the opium trade with China, the immigrant tensions, the conflicts between Catholics and Protestants, the medical field at the time, and the very harsh lives of the poor and orphaned. The main character has a Chinese wife (with bound feet) that he keeps hidden in one part of city and an American wife who is his public face of normalcy. The plot moves so fast in this book....really a little too fast. Although this is the type of book you don't want to put down, sometimes you wish the author would take a moment to stay with one story and savor it a little more. Something amazing will happen and then the next chapter is six years later! This book is a part of a series and this is the first I read. I can't give it five stars because the author sacrifices exceptional use of language and depth for plot, but that plot is so good!!! A definite recommend.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Another chapter in the Devrey and Turner families. I was a little disappointed in this one. I expected the events leading up to the Civil War to be more a plot device. New York in the 1860s is packed full of things. However, we spend very little time in that period. Instead, you suffer through another cheating husband/mistress plot that could be during any time period. Carolina as a character was no Manon, so I became bored of her shenanigans. And of course, we get more lectures from the newest Another chapter in the Devrey and Turner families. I was a little disappointed in this one. I expected the events leading up to the Civil War to be more a plot device. New York in the 1860s is packed full of things. However, we spend very little time in that period. Instead, you suffer through another cheating husband/mistress plot that could be during any time period. Carolina as a character was no Manon, so I became bored of her shenanigans. And of course, we get more lectures from the newest Dr. Turner about germs. It felt very repetitive if you've read the other installments. Mei Lin was the one you wanted to learn more about, but she is sidelined to the last section of the book. Swerling is still great at keeping you in the history, remarking how the city has change. She does well to remind you how the city is becoming a multicultural crossroads. However, the pace is a little maddening in this one. The last 2 sections of the book especially. All of the sudden, there's Irish Gangs! Overall, a great read...just not as good as my favorite, City of Glory.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Randi Reisfeld

    Sometimes there's nothing for it but a great, sweeping, "Swerling" saga. You get involved in the generations of families, their history as well as the history of their cities, countries, causes, etc. Beverly Swerling is my go-to author for her "City Of" books; the city being my own, New York. Mostly, she follows two intertwing (and often quarrelsome) families, but she rarely fails to make you care about them. I confess to not reading this series in order--but I would recommend it. (City of Dream Sometimes there's nothing for it but a great, sweeping, "Swerling" saga. You get involved in the generations of families, their history as well as the history of their cities, countries, causes, etc. Beverly Swerling is my go-to author for her "City Of" books; the city being my own, New York. Mostly, she follows two intertwing (and often quarrelsome) families, but she rarely fails to make you care about them. I confess to not reading this series in order--but I would recommend it. (City of Dreams; City of Glory; City of God; and her newest, City of Promise. The one I just finished, City of God takes place pre-civil war days during which our families, The Devreys and the Turners become involved with the early Catholics, fiery Protestants and those (pesky...and a little stereotypical) Jews. But there is so much more as our protags tussle with (some, intimately newly arrived Chinese immigrants, Italians, Irish, and eventually slaves. Some do the right thing; some the very wrong. Everyone gets his/her just desserts. Four stars.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Michaela

    This is the third book in the series, and, after having been disappointed by the second book, I was glad that this one got back to what made me love the first book so much. There were moments where I felt as though the plot was moving along way too fast, but the family relations and medical history were fascinating and more than made up for it. I found myself learning a lot about neighborhoods in current NYC and how they came to be, and about the political machines and how they began. In fact, I This is the third book in the series, and, after having been disappointed by the second book, I was glad that this one got back to what made me love the first book so much. There were moments where I felt as though the plot was moving along way too fast, but the family relations and medical history were fascinating and more than made up for it. I found myself learning a lot about neighborhoods in current NYC and how they came to be, and about the political machines and how they began. In fact, I also learned why Bellevue was regarded as such an awful hospital by many in the New York metro area, even years after marked improvements had been made there. The ending left a little to be desired and I thought it wandered a bit, but it was a very well-written story and I am looking forward to reading the fourth installment.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    The next piece of Swerling's saga of old New York. This work takes place in the mid-1800's and it deals more with personal relationships than with history; but it was very compelling, and captured the feel of the time in New York. The story of the Turners and the Deverys continues, with the introduction of Samuel Devery's Chinese "wife", his legal wife, and their children and problems, including the opium trade. Dr. Turner is focusing on the affects of germs and the lack of the acceptability of The next piece of Swerling's saga of old New York. This work takes place in the mid-1800's and it deals more with personal relationships than with history; but it was very compelling, and captured the feel of the time in New York. The story of the Turners and the Deverys continues, with the introduction of Samuel Devery's Chinese "wife", his legal wife, and their children and problems, including the opium trade. Dr. Turner is focusing on the affects of germs and the lack of the acceptability of ether, while working at Bellvue Hospital and then a private practice. The Underground Railroad and the coming Civil War also play a part. I liked City of Dreams better, but I liked this book more than City of Glory or Shadowbrook.

  27. 4 out of 5

    April

    This book was over all quite pleasing. The historical view of old New York was pretty fascinating. I liked the development of the characters, but the only thing wrong is that they were a little flat. If you were a protagonist, you were really good: an angelical widow who becomes a nun, who loves taking care of the poor, sick and elderly. If you were the antagonist you were really bad: an importer of opium who beats his wife, neglects his child, has an open affair, and (spoiler alert!) eventually This book was over all quite pleasing. The historical view of old New York was pretty fascinating. I liked the development of the characters, but the only thing wrong is that they were a little flat. If you were a protagonist, you were really good: an angelical widow who becomes a nun, who loves taking care of the poor, sick and elderly. If you were the antagonist you were really bad: an importer of opium who beats his wife, neglects his child, has an open affair, and (spoiler alert!) eventually dies of opium abuse. The book is a little slow to get into, but once I did, it was fast paced and interesting. The ending seemed to to waver around a lot, like it didn't know when to stop. Maybe that's why it's a book in a series.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    It's 1834 and the Devrey's and the Turners are still at odds. Young Dr. Nicholas Turner comes to New York and meets his cousin Samuel Turner and his beautiful wife Carolina. Samuel is keeping secrets that he doesn't want the rest of NY to know; but eventually has to call upon his cousin Dr. Turner for help. All during the building of NY we find the struggles of the Jewish, Irish and Italians in a City that doesn't want them there. But lavishes in all that they bring with them. In the background t It's 1834 and the Devrey's and the Turners are still at odds. Young Dr. Nicholas Turner comes to New York and meets his cousin Samuel Turner and his beautiful wife Carolina. Samuel is keeping secrets that he doesn't want the rest of NY to know; but eventually has to call upon his cousin Dr. Turner for help. All during the building of NY we find the struggles of the Jewish, Irish and Italians in a City that doesn't want them there. But lavishes in all that they bring with them. In the background the poor suffer with health care in Bellevue Hospital, even as Dr. Turner tries to introduce the idea of germs prevention, cleanness and either for painless surgery. Finally we are transported to July 1863 and Gettysburg. This book should rate at a 3.5.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    This is the third in the Old New York series and so far the best. This story continues the rivalry between the Turner and Devrey families. It is a time of great growth in the city, a horrible fire burning down most of it (while displacing many poor families,) the rebuilding of it with fine mansions, an expanding Wall Street, and the growth in the shipping and opium industries. The book is a great history lesson of New York during a time of clashes between Jewish, Italian and Irish cultures. It a This is the third in the Old New York series and so far the best. This story continues the rivalry between the Turner and Devrey families. It is a time of great growth in the city, a horrible fire burning down most of it (while displacing many poor families,) the rebuilding of it with fine mansions, an expanding Wall Street, and the growth in the shipping and opium industries. The book is a great history lesson of New York during a time of clashes between Jewish, Italian and Irish cultures. It also has more female characters including Mei-Hua, a chinese bride, and a man falling for his cousin's wife, as well as prostitutes. This all made this book flow better and spice up the story. This would probably be a good novel for book club discussions.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline

    The plot line was quite novel, which is the only reason I was able to complete the book. The author seemed to focus so much on name dropping events and famous people of the time that she failed to focus on her character development. I never once could relate to her characters and the seemed way too fantastical for the novel. It could have been so much better! Additionally, her use of the flashback was a complete failure. The literary device is supposed to be smoothly interwoven so that the reade The plot line was quite novel, which is the only reason I was able to complete the book. The author seemed to focus so much on name dropping events and famous people of the time that she failed to focus on her character development. I never once could relate to her characters and the seemed way too fantastical for the novel. It could have been so much better! Additionally, her use of the flashback was a complete failure. The literary device is supposed to be smoothly interwoven so that the reader barely notices the time transition. Her transitions felt like being hit with a brick. The novel was a great idea, but ultimately a waste of time for how shoddy it was written.

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