Death of an Amiable Child

Irene Marcuse, Author Walker & Company $23.95 (227p) ISBN 978-0-8027-3346-7
Social worker and transplanted Californian Anita Servi, her cabinetmaker husband, Bruno, and their adopted daughter, Clea, live in a prewar co-op on Manhattan's Upper West Side in this compassionate debut novel. Many of Anita's elderly neighbors are clients at her agency at the nearby Cathedral of St. John the Divine. A typical crazed Monday morning turns even more chaotic when Clea discovers the body of a homeless woman, known only as Lillian, on a landing in the co-op. The local police believe she died from a fall. Not convinced, Anita decides to investigate and becomes embroiled in the doings at the building where Lillian lived, seeing clients and avoiding the management, who have their reasons for not wanting her around. Anita eventually learns that Lillian had some good jewelry and a lot of money as well, so why did she live that way? What was she scared of, and why did she spend a lot of time in Riverside Park at the grave of the Amiable Child? As she asks around, Anita discovers that many seniors are afraid of losing their apartments and are being threatened and intimidated. The tough ones remain, but at what cost? Anita and her family enjoy life in an increasingly gentrified neighborhood, where longtime tenants and newcomers with conflicting values and philosophies must navigate the political minefield of co-op life. Bravo to Marcuse, herself a savvy West Sider with a degree in social work, for this entertaining and engrossing puzzle that also calls attention to serious unresolved social problems. Agent, Sandra Dijkstra. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
Show other formats
Mass Market Paperbound - 256 pages - 978-0-373-26433-9
Hardcover - 223 pages - 978-0-7090-8076-3
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.