754 Followers
31 Following
judithdcollins

JDCMustReadBooks

An online marketing consultant, an avid reader of  400 + books a year. Professional reader, reviewer, and blogger.  Enjoy ARCs and new releases. 

 

 

 

Why We Came to The City

Why We Came to the City - Kristopher Jansma

By: Kristopher Jansma

ISBN: 9780525426608

Publisher:  Penguin 

Publication Date:  2/16/2016 

Format: Hardcover 

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.

 
“We came to the city because we wished to live haphazardly, to reach for only the least realistic of our desires, and to see if we could not learn what our failures had to teach, and not, when we came to live, discover that we had never died.”

Life can be based on Idealism (based on a conception of things as they should be, or wish them to be with a tendency to be imaginary or visionary), OR Realism (based on a conception of things as they are, regardless of how one wants them to be---practical and pragmatic.

These perspectives also have an impact on how individuals deal with success or failure in their lives. It is very rare to find someone who is a complete and absolute idealist or realist. Events in our life change our perspectives.

Beautifully written, moving, and absorbing will make the reader reflect upon the moment, and appreciate life and those around you --in the present.

I listened to the audiobook, and Edoardo Ballerini delivered an engaging performance.
 
 

 

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!Why-We-Came-to-the-City/cmoa/56c7fd810cf2d76542b42b0b