The crazyladies of Pearl Street : a novel

by Trevanian.

Format: Print Book ©2005.
Availability: Available at 3 Libraries 3 of 3 copies
Available (3)
Location Collection Call #
Andrew Bayne Memorial Library Fiction Fic Trev
Location  Andrew Bayne Memorial Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  Fic Trev
Andrew Carnegie Free Library Fiction FIC TREVAN
Location  Andrew Carnegie Free Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  FIC TREVAN
Avalon Public Library Fiction FIC TRE
Location  Avalon Public Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  FIC TRE
Legendary writer Trevanian brings readers his most personal novel yet: a funny, deeply felt, often touching coming-of-age novel set in 1930s America.

Six-year-old Jean-Luc LaPointe, his little sister, and his spirited but vulnerable young mother have been abandoned--again--by his father, a charming con artist. With no money and nowhere else to go, the LaPointes create a fragile nest in a tenement building at 238 North Pearl Street in Albany, New York.

For the next eight years, through the Great Depression and Second World War, they live in the heart of the Irish slum, surrounded by ward heelers, unemployment, and grinding poverty. Pearl Street is also home to a variety of "crazyladies": Miss Cox, the feared and ridiculed teacher who ignites Jean-Luc's imagination; Mrs. Kane, who runs a beauty parlor/fortune-telling salon in the back of her husband's grocery store; Mrs. Meehan, the desperate, harried matriarch of a thuggish family across the street; lonely Mrs. McGivney, who spends every day tending to her catatonic husband, a veteran of the Great War; and Jean-Luc's own unconventional, vivacious mother. Colorful though it is, Jean-Luc never stops dreaming of a way out of the slum, and his mother's impossible expectations are both his driving force and his burden.

As legendary writer Trevanian lovingly re-creates the neighborhood of his youth in this funny, deeply moving coming-of-age novel, he also paints a vivid portrait of a neighborhood, a city, a nation in turmoil, and the people waiting for a better life to begin. It's a heartfelt and unforgettable look back at one child's life in the 1930s and '40s, a story that will be remembered long after the last page is turned.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "In 1936, in the Depression-era U.S., six-year-old Jean-Luc LaPointe; his three-year-old sister, Anne-Marie; and his mother, Ruby, are given a nugget of hope. The father and husband who abandoned them twice over has written claiming that after a stint in the slammer he's straightened out his life and wants them to come live with him. So Ruby packs up her children and heads to Albany, New York, to the shoddy, rundown apartment that's waiting for them on Pearl Street. Jean-Luc's father, however, is nowhere to be found, and Ruby is forced to go on welfare to support herself and her children. At school, Jean-Luc comes under the tutelage of a kindly teacher, who nurtures his potential and encourages him. It isn't long before the growing threat in Germany and the approach of World War II cast a shadow on Pearl Street, especially when Ben, the man with whom Ruby has found love, enlists in the army after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Trevanian's gift is his eye for detail; readers looking to get a feel for the period will find much to enjoy here. --Kristine Huntley Copyright 2005 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In this nostalgic, richly textured autobiographical novel about growing up on a poor Irish block in Albany, N.Y., prolific author Trevanian (Shibumi; Hot Night in the City; etc.) recalls his childhood during the Great Depression through World War II. In 1936, six-year-old narrator Jean-Luc La Pointe, his mother and younger sister leave Lake George Village for a gritty tenement in Albany to reunite with their deadbeat father and husband. He never shows up, and the penniless family makes do on their own: Luke's mother finds work as a waitress, and he fetches day-old bread on credit from the Socialist Jewish grocer across the street while steering clear of the Meehans from down the block, "a wild, drunken, dim-witted tribe... related in complex and unnatural ways." Affectionate portraits of the titular eccentric women punctuate Trevanian's sprawling tale: Luke observes the beleaguered and self-destructive Mrs. Meehan and meets the reclusive Mrs. McGivney, who perpetually relives a happier past while caring for a catatonic husband. Luke's "defiantly independent" mother, another "crazylady," marries the decent upstairs neighbor, but continues to idealize her con-man first husband. Though Trevanian's reminiscences make for a more atmospheric than carefully wrought novel, he sweetly evokes an innocent if hardscrabble lost age. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Boys -- Fiction.
Eccentrics and eccentricities -- Fiction.
Irish American women -- Fiction.
Fatherless families -- Fiction.
Single mothers -- Fiction.
Slums -- Fiction.
Albany (N.Y.) -- Fiction.
Domestic fiction.
Publisher New York :Three Rivers Press,©2005.
Edition 1st paperback ed.
Other Titles Crazy ladies of Pearl Street
Language English
Description 367 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN 1400080371 (pbk.)
Other Classic View