Past the hustle and bustle of midtown, sheltered from the squawks of taxis and tourists, lies a quiet little block near Central Park kept humble by rent control. Cathleen Schine’s brilliantly funny novel shows us how living on a street like this in New York with a dog is like living in a tiny village, one that has a rhythm all its own.
Walking her dog, Beatrice, Jody falls under the spell of Everett’s bewitching smile. Everett begins to appreciate his post-divorce life only when he falls in love with Howdy, Polly’s puppy. Polly lives with her brother, George, who isn’t looking so much for a love life as for life direction, and Howdy leads him right to it. Doris hates the trash on her block, she hates the pee on her SUV’s large tires, and, above all, she hates dogs. That is, until she gets one of her own.
In The New Yorkers, as in life, canine companions compel their masters to go outside of themselves, to take part in the community they live in, to make friends, and sometimes, to fall in love.