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In lyrical, eloquent prose, Hidden marvelously re-creates New York City during the fascinating 1920s in a fierce, compelling story of loyalty, forbidden desire, and the end of innocence. Concealing their passions and innermost thoughts even from those they love most dearly, Victoria Lustbader's characters love, lust, seize power, do battle, and strive to rule themselves and their city during a decade of turmoil at home and abroad.
The battlefield traumas of the Great War cement an improbable friendship between Jed Gates, scion of the wealthy Gates family, and David Warshinsky, first-generation American from New York's poverty-ridden Lower East Side. Some things remain the same, however, no matter whether you are rich or poor, whether your people arrived on the Mayflower or in steerage. Family ties bind tight. Duty can be a much stronger force than love. Desire can lead to rash decisions and revelations of things best kept secret. Success often comes at too high a cost. David sacrifices his family, his Jewish heritage, and the needs of his heart in pursuit of his untamable ambition. In eerie parallel, Jed sacrifices his private, most intimate desires to assume the burdens of familial expectations, even though bending to the steely wills of his mother and grandfather may destroy him.
Back on the Lower East Side, David's older brother, Ben, clings to the ways of the past and declares David dead to him. Their young sister, Sarah, endures the brutal conditions of a sweatshop and hardens her heart to David, the reckless brother who abandoned her and whom she once adored. Uptown, Jed's rebellious sister, Lucy, goes to college and becomes a nurse in Margaret Sanger's revolutionary birth control clinic. Sarah finds a tender love in sensitive Reuben Winokur, an immigrant tailor destined to prosper in his new country; but Lucy's path is more treacherous - she falls hard for David, who has chosen another.
Brilliantly evoking time, place and person, Hidden draws readers deep into the past to illuminate the present. For nothing is more eternal than human feeling, and nothing more important to the human heart.