Christodora

Christodora

A Novel

Book - 2016
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"In this vivid and compelling novel, Tim Murphy follows a diverse set of characters whose fates intertwine in an iconic building in Manhattan’s East Village, the Christodora. The Christodora is home to Milly and Jared, a privileged young couple with artistic ambitions. Their neighbor, Hector, a Puerto Rican gay man who was once a celebrated AIDS activist but is now a lonely addict, becomes connected to Milly and Jared’s lives in ways none of them can anticipate. Meanwhile, Milly and Jared’s adopted son Mateo grows to see the opportunity for both self-realization and oblivion that New York offers. As the junkies and protesters of the 1980's give way to the hipsters of the 2000's and they, in turn, to the wealthy residents of the crowded, glass-towered city of the 2020's, enormous changes rock the personal lives of Milly and Jared and the constellation of people around them. Moving kaleidoscopically from the Tompkins Square Riots and attempts by activists to galvanize a true response to the AIDS epidemic, to the New York City of the future, Christodora recounts the heartbreak wrought by AIDS, illustrates the allure and destructive power of hard drugs, and brings to life the ever-changing city itself."--goodreads.com
Publisher: New York : Grove Press, c2016
Edition: 1st ed
Branch Call Number: FICTION MUR
Characteristics: 432 p. ; 24 cm

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StoriedLife
Jun 17, 2020

Superbly crafted novel that shuffles through time to tell the tale of an artistic Latino, born to an AIDS-afflicted woman, who is adopted at age 5 by a New York couple of artists. It captures various stages of the AIDS epidemic better than any other novel I’ve read, but it’s about far more — about art, addiction and adoption, and about sex and city life and gentrification. But mostly it’s about the feelings that bind people together, the secrets and uncertainties and circumstances that distance them, and the rarity of relationships that people choose to keep or re-establish over the years.

I confess that I am in love with New York City, which is why this book initially appealed to me, as it revolves around NYC’s Lower East Side and more specifically, at the Christodora, a historic apartment building that still stands today in the heart of Alphabet City. We are introduced chapter by chapter to a core group of residents that call the Christodora home, jumping from the 70s, 80s, 90s, right through until the present and into the near future as their lives and stories intertwine in an epic tale of fate and circumstance.

We meet a new couple deep in love, a doctor dealing with depression, and an AIDS activist coming into his own. The themes take us from the AIDS crisis to drug addiction to the art world and beyond. The characters in Tim Murphy’s Christodora will win you over and have you rooting for them all the way to the final page. This was my favourite book of 2017! (Submitted by Alan)

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