Thursday, August 18, 2016

Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss

On the brink of a new year, three strangers welcome 1980 in a pre-gentrification New York City, unaware of the ways in which their worlds are about to collide.

James Bennett is a synesthetic art critic whose unique perspective has catapulted him to the forefront of the Soho creative scene. Raul Engales, a gifted painter fleeing the war torn streets of Argentina and a sister he loves but will not stay for, is determined to make a name for himself among the budding community of artists.

Meanwhile, Lucy Olliason, an Idaho transplant who fell in love with a city she’d only seen in pictures, is determined to find a place to belong there.

This book is a wonderful blend of juxtaposition: the grit and glamour of the city, the vivacious energy of the 80’s art scene, and the eccentric personalities of the artists that populate it.

It manages to be both stark and full of the color and life that NYC is known for. The stories of each character (and their story together as a whole) bring the reader in right away. Ultimately, it’s a book about loss and identity - a study in how we choose to change and adapt. Like a painting, each independent detail and voice blends together to form something entirely new.

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