Visible City

Visible City

eBook - 2014
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"A glittering novel about fate, fantasy, and the anonymity of urban life." -- O , The Oprah Magazine

"Read Visible City . Tova Mirvis's graceful yet vigorous New York novel is about the half-inadvertent window-peeping that city life enables, and where it can lead." -- New York Magazine

After chaotic days of wrangling and soothing her young children, Nina spends her evenings spying on the quiet, contented older couple across the street. But one night, through her same window, she spies a young couple in the throes of passion. Who are these people, and what happened to her symbol of domestic happiness? Soon, Nina crosses paths with both couples on the streets of her Upper West Side neighborhood and, as anonymity gives way to different forms of intimacy, all begin to confront their own desires and disappointments. Shrewdly and artfully, Mirvis explores the boundaries between our own lives and the lives of others. From its lavish ghost subway stations to its hidden stained-glass windows, Visible City conjures a New York City teeming with buried treasures.

"An utterly perfect, deeply moving evocation of contemporary Manhattan [that] reminded me of Paula Fox and Laurie Colwin, and also those master chroniclers of the privileged classes, Wharton and Fitzgerald . . . Brilliant." --Joanna Smith Rakoff,

"Mirvis's meticulously choreographed novel surprises and moves us." -- New York Times Book Review
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014
ISBN: 9780544045545
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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Sep 04, 2015

I did not enjoy this book. It wasn't so bad that I stopped reading it but I definitely wouldn't recommend it. I find the writing a bit bland and the stories were almost boring in their somewhat predictability. I didn't find the characters interesting or engaging enough.

Jan 15, 2015

The story of two families who have lost the ability to communicate within their family circle. The lives of each of the family members is changed when through unexpected meetings and situations, the lives of the two families begin to inter-connect.

Nov 05, 2014

Hands down my favourite novel of 2014; seamless interwoven stories. Even new york city, in a way, becomes a character. Highly recommended as it is so beautifully written. What a joy to read.

chulsey May 09, 2014

At the risk of sounding like a Peeping Tom I recently wrote about the allure of viewing other people’s lives through lit windows. As a fan of Hitchcock’s Rear Window I’ve watched it numerous times and never tire of the initial premise; observing people surreptitiously, imagining their lives, consumed by a vague longing based not on reality, but some sort of unidentifiable nostalgia. That’s why my heart skipped a beat when I saw a review of a new book by Tova Mirvis called Visible City. Prone to judging a book by its cover, I was drawn to the illustration of silhouettes framed by illuminated windows in an apartment building.

The book did not disappoint. In fact, after turning the last page I continued to think about the characters—I’m still thinking about them. I also had an overwhelming urge to talk to people about the book. For me this is what makes the experience of reading magical—the jolt of recognition as the author describes feelings you’ve had but couldn’t articulate, the need to pause and appreciate a finely crafted sentence, fully realized characters, and a feeling of urgency for contemplation and conversation.

The book’s cast of characters comes alive through the omniscient viewpoint of the author, and it will appeal to those who like character-driven books. Nina, a young woman who gave up her career as an attorney to be a stay-at home mom, feels trapped and frustrated. Her husband, also an attorney, works all the time (or is he really working?) and she spends her lonely evenings spying on her neighbors with her son’s toy binoculars, especially one middle-aged seemingly content couple who spend quiet hours together reading on their sofa. Little does she know that her life will soon become entangled with theirs, as well as their adult daughter’s, in irreversible ways. The other characters are equally interesting and the story unfolds with humor, insight, and pathos.

Tova Mirvis is a wise woman. She understands the complexity and ambiguity of the human heart and she knows how to craft a compelling story about identity, perception, longing, disappointment and human connection.

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