Wednesday, July 11, 2012


We know from the beginning that Katey and Tinker will not end up together, because she is with her husband Val when they come across some photos of Tinker in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.  In the 1938 photo, Tinker is well-dressed and dapper, but in the 1939 photo, although his demeanor shows contentment, his clothes are shabby.  Most of the novel is Katey's reflection on the year 1938 and how Tinker went from riches to rags.  The author makes a good case for quitting your job the day after you're promoted.  Of course, being lead secretary in the secretarial pool at a Manhattan law firm is exactly where Katey does not want to languish.  She has a nimble mind and is well-read, despite her working class upbringing.  Her roots don't hold her back, though, as she rolls the dice and lands a job with Gotham, a new magazine being launched by the publishers of Condé Nast.  In the meantime, she and her brazen friend Eve meet Tinker, whom both women have a thing for.  Then an automobile accident reduces the threesome to an unstable couple, as Tinker applies the "you break it; you buy it" slogan to his newfound devotion to Eve, who is seriously injured in the accident.  Katey is now the odd woman out, but she's better company than Eve and creates other, more fruitful liaisons.  When Eve tires of being Tinker's albatross, Katey and Tinker reconnect and embark on a tentative course to togetherdom, until a sudden revelation shatters Katey's respect for Tinker.  All the clues should have made Tinker's flaws more apparent, but love has a way of allowing us to see only what we want to see.  I so enjoyed going back in time to spend a few delicious hours with these New York denizens and seeing the city from their perspective.

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