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Novel set in Manhattan (a character in a completely alien landscape)

21st May 2018

Still Me by Jojo Moyes, novel set in Manhattan, New York City.

Jojo Moyes appeared in January 2018 on the BBC’s “Meet the Author” series talking about “Still Me“, the third and final outing for Lou Clark in this “horseshoe-shaped trilogy“. In this book she fetches up in New York and for the author “part of the joy of having a character that you can revisit is to put them in a completely alien landscape – there’s not much more alien than the 5th Avenue social whirl..” she says.

Novel set in Manhattan

And so, it is off to New York City in the heart of Manhattan, the Upper East Side, overlooking Central Park. In the company of Louisa, employed as a paid companion to Agnes, the new Polish wife in the wealthy Gopnik household. The city immediately is a character in itself, as are the characters in the apartment block, a microcosm of the Big Apple condensed into just a few hundred square metres. It is beguiling, overwhelming and tantalising and Lou is utterly seduced by it all. Money talks and the sense of entitlement leads some of these wealthy characters to behave with total disregard for those around them. Secrets fester and money can’t always compensate.

… and there it was across the Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan, shining like a million jagged shards of light, awe-inspiring, glossy, impossibly condensed and beautiful, a sight that was so familiar from televisions and films that I couldn’t quite accept I was seeing it for real...” The city is beautifully and evocatively brought to life, from the coffee shops, to the New York Public Libray, Washington Heights and finally 30 Rockefeller Plaza, with the gilded sign: “Wisdom and Knowledge  Shall Be the Stability of Thy Times

Back home, Lou is nurturing a fledgling relationship with Sam; both he and Lou have been through unimaginable loss, still writ large for both of them. A long distance relationship, however, has its difficulties…

Lou has a unique style of dressing, quirky and colourful and although there is pressure to conform, she sticks to her guns and ultimately she is rewarded in the most unexpected way.

Love pugs? Then you will delight in meeting Dean Martin, Mrs de Witt’s little dog.

This is very much a novel about being true to oneself, keeping hold of deeply held personal principles. Taking the rough with the smooth, Lou certainly has composure and resilience in the face of bad behaviour from those around her. There is also humour and great observation of people and the city, with a strong element of romance thrown in.

The author has a really light touch and a great style of writing and certainly keeps her readers enthralled.

Tina for the TripFiction Team

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Love New York? Take yourself off there via fiction… choose your next read set in the city that never sleeps or check out our selection of 10 Great Books set in New York

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