Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Review: The Astral by Kate Christensen

My little neighborhood  library is such a source of joy ! Another great book.

The Astral is the name of an apartment building in Brooklyn, NY.  The Astral is where poor old Harry Quirk got kicked out of by his wife, Luz. She had accused him of having an affair with his best friend, who just happens to be an attractive , creative woman named Marion. Poor old Harry has two children. A gay daughter Karina, who is tuned into a "freegan" lifestyle. She is basically a dumpster diver , who gets most of her groceries and furnishing from other people's trash. His son, Hector, is a lost soul who has turned up on Long Island living with other lost souls, lead by the cult leader ( former stripper & con artist) Christa, who he is engaged to be married.
Harry is a poet. He never really worked a day in his married life. His wife Luz  is a nurse and supports the family. Harry has been published and writes infequently for magazines, so he is not without some income, but very little. When we first meet Harry, after he has been thrown out, he is living in a fleabag boarding house. He then moves into Marion's place, which drives his wife Luz even further over the edge. His daughter Karina wants to rescue her brother from the cult and needs Harry's help. Luz will not even speak to Harry, although he does stalk her a bit, so father & daughter head to Long Island without mom.  They discover that Hector is being treated as the second coming and living quite the life.
Harry has a network of friends where he finds food & shelter and jobs. All very interesting people, all seeing the same therapist. And all the women have decided that Harry was having an affair with Marion and all the men feel he was crazy not to have had an affair with Marion.
This book is full of characters, which are quite the characters. I found I couldn't put the book down, I just wanted to know where & with whom Harry ended up. At the end of the book , I was still wondering why Harry left his bike chained up in front of the Astral. I am hoping it is because there is a sequel. Highly recommended.  Will be checking out another of this author's books !

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