Spanning from the year 1664, when New York was a mere reflection of Holland founded by Dutch settlers, through the tragic events of 9/11, Rutherfurd’s magnum opus is full of interesting historical details and human foibles. While the human element of the novel is striking, many of the characters’ stories lack continuity, leaving the reader with an unrequited desire to learn more about them. Moreover, the characters’ predicaments often conveniently materialize in time to tackle another development in the history of New York. This book may be of interest to lovers of American history but would have benefited from a more dynamic story line and more engaging characters.
This book would not be an ideal selection for public libraries with large Spanish-speaking constituencies. Depending on the general level of education of the community, public libraries should purchase with discretion. Academic libraries may benefit from adding this book as reading material for advanced Spanish language students.
Recommended with reservations