I received this book as an advanced copy through
Library Thing and their Early Reviewer program.
I was a little leary at first as I am not one to read much non-fiction and memoirs I've read run the gamut from boring to extremely engaging and fun. I am pleased to say that Judith Matloff's story of her family's experience was very interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Judith worked for years as a foreign correspondent living in a variety of other countries. After getting married in her late 30's and having two miscarriages, she starts longing to put down roots closer to her family. While her Dutch husband waits back in Russia for his visa, she moves into her mother's basement in New York and starts looking for a house. She ends up finding a 'home with potential' in West Harlem among the dealers and the crack addicts. This story tells of their journey with contractors, the neighbors, the dealers and many others.
Her history of being a foreign correspondent blended well into relating the experience of moving into a 'lawless block' in New York. I worried for her, shook my head at her foolishness and how naive she was. But I also smiled with her choices on friends, the workers, and as she became a mom. And also as the 'lawless block' turned into something great. I recommend this book to all.