UYC’s Book Club: Grand Central: Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion

It seemed only appropriate to choose a book featuring NYC love stories for the month of February.  Until we got to reading the book and realized…only one was an actual love story, the rest were…well, they were what love stories often are: unrequited, reckless, and heartbreaking.  

I know, I know, this all sounds quite terrible and you’re probably like “why would you recommend this, especially around Valentine’s Day?!”, but I promise, it’s a pleasant read, filled with historical bits from World War II living that were pretty enlightening (like, I had no idea German POW’s worked on American plantations during this time?!), and out of the ten stories told by ten different authors, you’re bound to really enjoy most.  The one I found most powerful was “I’ll Walk Alone” by Erika Robuck.

“I lift my face to the constellations on the ceiling. I’m breathing better up here. The air stirs more freely. I walk towards the stairs where the young lovers sat, but they are gone. Of all the difficulty of this day so far, their disappearance is what threatens to unmoor me.”

All the stories took place on a single day right after the end of the war.  What I appreciated most with this read is how each story had a small cameo, linking it into the next, often times so tiny you have to reread to catch them.  In this huge city of ours, it’s so true how energies and lives merge in such unexpected ways that mostly go unrecognized, but can have substantial impact.  And with Grand Central playing backdrop to these intertwining lives, it’s easy to imagine a similar anthology being written in 2015, following the lives and loves of modern day New Yorkers.  Project, anyone?

unnamedThis seemed to be a universal hit among the book club members, discussing over seafood soup at Grand Central’s legendary Oyster Bar. Have you read the book?  Let’s discuss below!

p.s. For March’s NYC read, we’ll be gobbling up Spiced: A Pastry Chef’s True Stories of Trails by Fire, After-Hours Exploits, and What Really Goes on in the Kitchen.  Grab your copy and join the discussion on the blog on March 26th!


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