Mark Helprin
Mariner Books, New York, 2005, English
ISBN: 9780156031196

From the Publisher. New York City is subsumed in arctic winds, dark nights, and white lights, its life unfolds, for it is an extraordinary hive of the imagination, the greatest house ever built, and nothing exists that can check its vitality. One night in winter, Peter Lake—orphan and master-mechanic, attempts to rob a fortress-like mansion on the Upper West Side.

Though he thinks the house is empty, the daughter of the house is home. Thus begins the love between Peter Lake, a middle-aged Irish burglar, and Beverly Penn, a young girl, who is dying.

Peter Lake, a simple, uneducated man, because of a love that, at first he does not fully understand, is driven to stop time and bring back the dead. His great struggle, in a city ever alight with its own energy and beseiged by unprecedented winters, is one of the most beautiful and extraordinary stories of American literature.

On 2 book lists
Temple St. Clair

I love Helprin’s stories. (It was hard to choose between this one and A Soldier of the Great War.) This is a magical story of New York City. I love the descriptions of the Hudson being frozen solid and of people disappearing into Brooklyn. Helprin’s descriptions are fantastical but still seem somehow real in this amazing city.

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