Cathleen Schine’s The New Yorkers follows the lives of several people all living in the same New York block. There are numerous characters whose lives seamlessly intertwine by nothing other their dogs. There is Jody the late thirties widow and her dog Beatrice, Polly the young twenty-something who lives with her playboy of a brother and her dog Howdy, that was left behind be the previous owner, Jamie the restaurant owner and his 2 little dogs who seem to be permanent fixtures in the restaurant. And then there are the non-dog owners. Everett the divorcé in his forties, Simon the loner, and Doris the neighborhood “watch dog.”
The book takes place over the course of four seasons and shows the development and end of relationships as friends, lovers, and enemies. The common denominator in each relationship is obviously the dogs. Anyone that is a pet owner knows how pets are part of your, you consider them your child or best friend. They have their own personalities, habits, people they like, and people they hate. The author expertly captures all these characteristics.
If you are a pet owner/lover you will appreciate this book. If you aren’t, well there is something in here for you too, in the character of Doris, who will go to any extremely to remove the dogs from her perfect neighborhood, and she might even get you to find the pet lover in you.
Next Book: My Fair Lazy by Jen Lancaster (sorry for the repeat but we all lover her)