Review of A Winter in New York by Josie Silver
Despite the many outlandish details of Iris's situation and ongoing secrets, I was taken with the sweet family relationships and the multi-phased wrap-up ending.
Iris is a chef who moves to New York City in hopes of a fresh start--and is quickly intimidated by the scope and action of the city. But her new best friend Bobby--along with his partner Robin--takes her under his wing.
Then Iris spies a storefront familiar from one of her deceased mother's old photos, a gelato store...where she discovers that they use her exact, closely guarded, definitely secret family recipe.
Handsome Gio, son of the ill owner, explains that the store is in danger of being shuttered. Iris may be able to help--if only she could also figure out the store's connection to her mother's past.
I know that romantic books sometimes rely upon outlandish setups, and I feel theoretically willing to buy in. I will, after all, happily read stories about talking dragons, or fantastical worlds, or time travel, and I can feel emotionally invested in any of them.
But sometimes I have difficulty seeing past what feel like unlikely scenarios in romantic novels. Minor niggles: They only serve vanilla gelato, and people go crazy for it? Really? She traveled with almost nothing...but she did bring her unwieldy, heavy home gelato maker? She's a chef but she's also secretly a YouTube-sensation-level singer...who a sick busker inexplicably wrangles into taking over her vocals as she walks by?
The family members abhor secrets...but want Iris to walk away, creating the ultimate eternal secret, rather than share the truth? Characters assure Iris that other characters will be fine emotionally in the end if everyone adheres to their masterminded plans by asserting the juvenile "I promise"?
Most importantly, why would Iris not just share the truth about secret one, and how could she possibly go on so long without doing so? And how could keeping secret two serve her well in any scenario? And why would she walk away from a promising love without attempting to address any of this, except for the need to create angst in the story? Characters, please talk to each other!
I was frustrated with these aspects of A Winter in New York, but the sweet-as-pie, satisfying, multiple-phased ending was, admittedly, adorable. And the Bobby-Robin relationship as well as the Gio romance had me swooning.
I received a prepublication edition of this book courtesy of NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group. A Winter in New York is scheduled for publication today.
Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?