Natalie's Reviews > Love, Work, Children

Love, Work, Children by Cheryl Mendelson
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's review
Aug 18, 2007

liked it
bookshelves: lighter
Read in August, 2007

I think I also read Mendelsohn's earlier book set in Morningside Heights (of that title I think). She's very interested in the cultural dynamics of that neighborhood, which is oddly familiar and repellent to me -- I'm no New Yorker but I grew up in a college town that prides itself as an oasis of culture much as her version of MH does -- the economics of MH vs a big-10 college town are completely different, but that makes it interesting. However, her interest in cultural capital tends to take precedence over her interest in people -- I found many of the characters confusing to keep track of at first, although that did get easier over time. I was about halfway through when a friend mentioned to me her love of Mendelsohn's book on housekeeping -- which then made her attention to such matters within the novel make much more sense. Interiors reflect class and culture -- but that's not a new perspective. You could read James or Wharton and get more fully realised characters along with the social analysis.

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