Has anyone ever read the novel -- Lost In Jersey City?

Posted by GrovePath on 2018/1/12 13:33:38

HarperCollins 1993
A New York Times Book Review Notable Book


Lost In Jersey City
by Paula Sharp

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After a brief stint as a widow, and seven years of a bad second marriage to a "stingy rat," Mrs. Ida Terhune runs away from her native Baton Rouge, leaving everything behind but her two small children, four large suitcases, and her 1970 Chrysler New Yorker. She is bound for the raw and alien world of Jersey City, where, her friend Betty Trombley assures her, Ida can get a job, because even a dead German shepherd could find work in the corrupt city government. As Betty describes her, Ida Terhune is over-sheltered and sanctimonious -- the kind of woman who honks punitively at people who commit minor traffic infractions. Although she settles into a new life at Betty's Grand Street apartment, Ida is horrified by Jersey City. Historic potholes deep enough to drown a mule threaten her New Yorker; members of the city school board are under investigation for extortion, bribery, and dispensing rotten food to elementary schoolers; and Betty's landlord, Rupert Dixon, refuses to do anything about the pool of sewer water flooding the basement and has hired his son, Chicken, to terrorize the Grand Street Tenants' Association. Although she would prefer to squirrel herself away in her own world, Ida is drawn unwittingly into an escalating conflict with Dixon, and into an unlikely association with Betty's friend Mike Ribeiro, "a criminal lawyer in both senses of the word." Eventually Ida finds herself at the center of a notorious homicide trail, under circumstances that threaten her sense of morality and decorum, and ultimately, her sense of self. Mike Ribeiro, Betty, and the Grand Street tenants come to her aid, with comic and heroic results.

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