This book is dangerous. Each time you pick it up, you read more than you originally planned and for longer than you had time for.
Set around Grand Central station in the early twentieth century, it revitalizes the magic of one of New York’s most popular tourist destinations. As a local, or even frequent visitor to the grand staircases and auspicious decor, the magic around the history and architecture may be lost to you. It certainly was to me. Until reading this book, I remembered all of the incredible history Grand Central station has been witness to, the incredible idea that was Grand Central station. Never before was there a hub such as it were, a destination in itself and a mailing center for ourselves.
Never before was the idea of movement, of travel and exploration, as lustful as it is today. As we all start to explore the world once more, let’s remember what exploration used to look like. Trains hugging coasts and scouring mountaintops, bridging rivers and lakes like no other machine or vehicles before, trains were a symbol of freedom. A freedom that we lost the last two months.
A freedom that grips the center of this story. Two characters, Joe Reynolds and Nora Lansing, in which freedom means something entirely different until the stakes are raised. But what is freedom, an idea completely separate to who we are and who we love or an unyielding connection between everyone, thing, and idea. And how much does it mean to you?
Joe believes freedom is true love, being able to love passionately for as long as possible. Nora believes freedom is crossing-off your bucket list, truly breaking chains across tracks. Although they never doubted their love for one another, they doubted the way to love one another.
Without revealing too much of the plot, I do want to discuss my one and only problem with this book. The end makes little to no sense. If you don’t think about it much, the plot hole could pass you by without even a blink of confusion. But it is kinda hard to avoid. In the most general and ambiguous of terms I can muster for the plot sanctity, I will attempt to describe this blunder. I don’t believe in the probability of the final facade. After so much time is spent on Manhattanhenge in this book, how it has so much to play into the characters, everything they know about it, I don’t believe it could be successfully faked.
Which is the key component to the ending, hopefully, with the speculation for a script being sold to Hollywood they figure out a way to fix that faux pas before shooting. Beside that though, as you take a nice moment to stretch your toes in the sand and feel the breeze against your lip, considering the depths of freedom with this book would be the best way to spend the summer of 2020.