An online marketing consultant, an avid reader of 400 + books a year. Professional reader, reviewer, and blogger. Enjoy ARCs and new releases.
Publication Date: 2/16/2016
My Rating: 4 Stars
Kristopher Jansma's follows with his second novel, WHY WE CAME TO THE CITY, a poignant, coming-of-age tale, of five twenty-something friends after 9/11 in New York City. Beginning at the onset of the 2008 financial crisis—recession; from tragedy, life, loss, grief, and friendship.
A journey to adulthood. A dream. Success. Failure. Misfortune. Crisis. Loss. Grief. The ashes. Survival. Mortality. A city can take from us and give. Sometimes we need to say good-bye. Both personal and professionally.
My city is not your city. A different city than the one we knew. What happened to the city fifty years before? A city where we lost and loved. New York has always been about the American dream.
Jansma writes with stunning literary prose, with deep insights, mixed with humor-- a close group of friends. Five years after college: They are flawed. Sara- editor; boyfriend astronomer -George, poet -Jacob, investment banker-William, and Irene, artist. They are at a party toasting the new year. However, as they make their way through the city -- life’s unexpected twists. turns, and tragedies.
Irene is diagnosed with bone cancer and forced to undergo draining chemotherapy sessions. They each confront their own demons, fears, and issues. Rethinking and exploring their dreams, ambitions, hopes, love, careers, and aspirations. If there could be a do over. Time. How to be someone new. Get through the tough times with support of one another.
From the romance with the city, love, passion, and cancer. How the cancer and surrounding elements affect the group--grief, discovery, reconciliation.
As mentioned in several online articles, the storyline reflects similarities of the author’s personal life from moving to New York City as a young man, grad school at Columbia, fell in love and got married, and – along with his fiancé – cared for his sister in his cramped one-bedroom apartment as she battled cancer. His ever-changing relationship with the city while considering moving to the suburbs.
Not only is the book related to New York City, the themes and experiences are relevant to cities everywhere.