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Between Two Rivers (P.S.)by Nicholas Rinaldi
Synopses & Reviews
Farro Fescu is the proud and observant concierge of Echo Terrace, a condominium in New York City. Passing through his lobby at all hours is an exotic cross-section of the world's population: an Egyptian-born plastic surgeon who specializes in gender reassignment, a fighter pilot who flew for Nazi Germany during World War II, an Iraqi spice merchant and the world-famous quilter with whom he's having an affair, the adulterer's son who dreams of becoming an undertaker, and the widow whose apartment is a jungle Eden filled with a menagerie of specimens.
Farro Fescu knows them all, knows all their secrets. Yet he does not know what is in his own heart — why, after a long, hard life, he is still alive, and still alone. Nor does he know what he will be capable of in the face of sudden, overwhelming tragedy.
This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
"New York City is a megacity that is best known in miniature. Life that happens in the global city occurs in miniature locally in each borough, in each block, in each building because it is a world in wonderful chaos where the very rich, the very poor, the old money, and the new immigrants come together every day. In Between Two Rivers Nicholas Rinaldi shows us the humanity of New York by opening the windows to Echo Terrace, an expensive condominium in Battery Park City, and introducing us to the wealthy, often eccentric residents and multinational staff. Battery Park City is built on landfill by the tip of Lower Manhattan — close to the financial district, as well as the Staten Island Ferry and the huge void that was once filled with the towering World Trade Center — the focal point of Lower Manhattan when the story begins in the summer of 1992. Much of what we learn about the residents in the nine years that follow is through the studied observations of Farro Fescu, the Rumanian concierge with a strong sense of old world propriety. This microcosm of New York is home to the punk clothes designer Ira Klempp, pompous Luther Rumfarm, the famous quilter Maggie Sowle, Nora Abernoth the collector of exotic animals, Theo Tattafruge, a skilled plastic surgeon, and many more we get to know. Rinaldi has created interesting stories for his complex characters and these stories are beautifully told and tied to historic events. One feels Echo Terrace is a real place, and at the end of the novel it is sad to have to say good-bye to these people who have shown us not only New York in miniature, but life as well. Nicholas Rinaldi is the author of two previous novels, The Jukebox Queen and Bridge Fall Down, and three collections of poetry." Reviewed by Maria Dominguez Chapel, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
About the Author
Nicholas Rinaldi is the author of two previous novels, The Jukebox Queen of Malta and Bridge Fall Down, and three collections of poetry. His stories and poems have appeared widely in literary journals here and abroad. He teaches literature and creative writing at Fairfield University, and lives in Connecticut with his wife, Jackie.
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