Book Review: Visible City (is delightful)

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Finally! Something enjoyable but not too taxing.

Visible City opens with a young mother who has developed a fixation on watching what other people are doing in their apartments as she hides in the curtains of her own window. Initially, this is only a fantasy type of activity—watching people and imagining scripts of their lives, along with her assumptions about what their lives are like. Those assumptions tend to speak to those things she feels she is lacking in her own life and marriage. Of course it can’t stay fantasy for long, and watcher and watched end up interacting with one another through a long but entertaining string of coincidences and timing —- emotional chaos of course results.

Deftly handled, this series of coincidences does not become clumsy or tiresome; the book moves along at a lovely pace, pieces fitting neatly into place just before one reaches them. Despite it being based in New York City, the novel refutes the idea of anonymity in the city and replaces it with the notion of neighborhoods being their own communities, and therefore you cannot escape the people you live near. Also as an aside, Mirvis gives the reader the gift of fully fleshed out relationships. They are not one-sided, there is not one Right Spouse and one Wrong Spouse, and it shows an emotional maturity rare in writing today. 3 and a half stars.

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