Joshua Henkin’s novel felt to me like words carved into a glass slate, by which I mean that readers are gently guided from one incredibly vivid scene or conversation to another, but the spaces between them are allowed to breathe and resonate. The characters are the same way: recognizable, relatable, but also occasionally mysterious — living and breathing. As I finished the book an adjective that I’d been searching for finally occurred to me: this novel is Chekhovian, and that, I think, is just about the highest praise I can give a work of literature. Recommended By Keith M., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
When Ohio-born Pru Steiner arrives in New York in 1976, she follows in a long tradition of young people determined to take the city by storm. But when she falls in love with and marries Spence Robin, her hotshot young Shakespeare professor, her life takes a turn she couldn’t have anticipated.
Thirty years later, something is wrong with Spence. The Great Man can’t concentrate; he falls asleep reading The New York Review of Books. With their daughter, Sarah, away at medical school, Pru must struggle on her own to care for him. One day, feeling especially isolated, Pru meets a man, and the possibility of new romance blooms. Meanwhile, Spence’s estranged son from his first marriage has come back into their lives. Arlo, a wealthy entrepreneur who invests in biotech, may be his father’s last, best hope.
Morningside Heights is a sweeping and compassionate novel about a marriage surviving hardship. It’s about the love between women and men, and children and parents; about the things we give up in the face of adversity; and about how to survive when life turns out differently from what we thought we signed up for.
In this tender, wise, and unflinching novel, Joshua Henkin traces the bittersweet arc of a lifelong love, with all its joy and pain.” Tom Perrotta
"Caring for a spouse with Alzheimer’s is an ever more common heartbreak, illuminated by this tender portrait of a marriage.” Kirkus Reviews
“Henkin traces the complications of a complicated disease with insight, honesty and humanity, in a style that is as readable as it is consummately literate.” Library Journal
About the Author
Joshua Henkin is the author of the novels Swimming Across the Hudson (a Los Angeles Times Notable Book), Matrimony (a New York Times Notable Book), and The World Without You (winner of the 2012 Edward Lewis Wallant Award for American Jewish Fiction and a finalist for the 2012 National Jewish Book Award). He lives in Brooklyn, New York, and directs the MFA program in Fiction Writing at Brooklyn College.