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Victoria Lustbader, Author
Victoria Lustbader, Author . Forge $24.95 (463p) ISBN 978-0-7653-1556-4
Reviewed on: 03/13/2006
Release date: 06/01/2006
Ebook - 544 pages - 978-1-4668-0690-0
Mass Market Paperbound - 527 pages - 978-0-7653-5463-1
Ebook - 464 pages - 978-1-4668-5396-6
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Lustbader's debut novel, set in roaring '20s New York, updates the Rich Man, Poor Man plot with a Brokeback Mountain twist. David Warshinski, 18, leaves his Jewish family's Lower East Side tenement to join the army, where he meets Jed Gates, grandson of a Manhattan business mogul. When the two friends return from WWI, David cuts off family ties, abandons his religion and changes his name to Shaw, while Jed refuses to acknowledge that he is in love with David. Instead, Jed dutifully marries, fathers a son and goes to work in the family business, keeping David, a financial and marketing genius bent on getting ahead, by his side. Meanwhile, David's sister Sarah, a seamstress still mourning their sister Rose (lost in the Triangle Factory fire) stealthily keeps track of David, and Jed's sister Lucy, a Henry Street Settlement nurse, knows all about David's desires. Lustbader, long time fiction editor at Harper & Row and Putnam, and the spouse of novelist Eric, skillfully envisions history in the making during a time of economic and social change. She falls prey to a few family saga clichés (fraternal feuds, maternal manipulation), but is terrific in depicting her characters' work lives. She transcends the miniseries story line to reveal a promising talent in historical fiction. (June)

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