The Last Room in Manhattan

Kathleen Rockwell Lawrence, Author Atheneum Books $0 (314p) ISBN 978-0-689-12010-7
Lawrence ( Maud Gone ) displays a sure hand in her witty, gritty depiction of down-and-out life in contemporary Manhattan. Karen Carmody has only a few days to find a new apartment when she is fired from her job as a headhunter, and she winds up in Arcadia, a shelter for women. Later, when Karen goes home to Poughkeepsie to help her widowed mother sell her house so she can follow her guru to Arizona, the reader comes to a deeper understanding of Karen's prickly, impetuous and embattled nature. Her roommate Martha's quest for her missing, drug-addicted son plays a complementary variation on the theme of wounded children, set against the backdrop of the destitute street population. If the insights are too pat and the ending not entirely satisfying, Lawrence's lively humor, keen observation, gift for dialogue and ability to arouse compassion are strong compensations. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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