I thought I’d introduce a weekly segment to my blog where I review and discuss books that I’ve recently read. I buy a lot of books (more than I buy makeup, which is telling!) and most genres interest me. I particularly love books written by Australian authors, books about different cultures/ethnicity and biographies.
Book: Only in New York
Author: Lily Brett
Background: Lily Brett is an author I’ve only discovered recently and she has quickly become one of my favourite authors. Lily is an Australian Jew living in New York and is an accomplished author. She has written many books and poems, and many of her books are based on her own personal experiences. She has a personal connection to the Holocaust (both of her parents survived Auschwitz) and this is mentioned in many of her novels. In particular, how her parents’ experience in the war impacted upon her life and the effect it had on her growing up.
My review: Only in New York is a collection of short stories about living n New York, and cover all of life’s little experiences. It explores a wide range of everyday topics including cooking, family and friends and spandex (yes, spandex) with a distinct twist. For someone that is a bit obsessed with New York, I loved reading about all of the parts that make this city so unique. This is an often hilarious account of some of Lily’s personal experiences in the Big Smoke and the uniqueness of NY really shows through in her stories.
All of the stories are written from her own perspective which gives the book a very personal and intimate edge. Lily has some very unique characteristics and she does not hold back from expressing these to the reader throughout the novel. I like how human Lily is; she talks about her insecurities, anxieties and general worries about herself.
One of my favourite stories in titled ‘Chickpea Curry’ and it tells us of the time Lily decided to make a chickpea curry in her New York home. In short, she ended up making way too much chickpea curry and filled up sixty three containers which she stored in her two giant freezers. What I love about Lily is her ability to take a seemingly ordinary tale about a cooking experience gone wrong, and tell it in a way that is interesting, funny and something that we have all done at some point of our lives. That’s what makes a great storyteller in my eyes.
Score: 10/10. This is a very funny yet moving collection of stories about one woman’s experience living in New York. For someone who loves New York, I found this novel extremely interesting, witty and personal.
Have you read this novel? What did you think?