Christodora, Tim Murphy

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review*

Christodora, Tim Murphy
Author: Tim Murphy
Publisher: Grove Press
Pages: 496
Format: DRC
ISBN-10: 080212528X
ISBN-13: 9780802125286
Publisher: various formats

3 stars

The Christodora is home to Milly and Jared, a privileged young couple with artistic ambitions. Their neighbour, 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 protestors of the 1980s give way to the hipsters of the 2000s and they, in turn, to the wealthy residents of the crowded, glass-towered city of the 2020s, enormous changes rock the personal lives of Milly and Jared and the constellation of people around them.

With the title being the name of the apartment building Christodora I had expected the building to be more important. It does qualify as the home base but the mention of the building or importance was not as much as I had expected. I actually feel the book should have been called Mateo. For me all the characters surrounded him at some point in the story and he was the one binding them all.
I liked Mateo. He was a troubled character but the questions about his life touched me a lot. Though I did not agree with the decisions he made the way it was told made it possible to accept these decisions and hope it will all turn out alright. I am curious what would have happened if he had heard the whole truth.
Milly was one of the other strong voices in the book. Though I did not always understand her motives her part of the story is heartbreaking too.
I had a bit of a problem with the flow in the story though. With the different voices and the jumping in time it sometimes felt like a cold shower when I was really involved with the one character and the chapter would end and we would move to something totally different. I am no fan of stories like that but this whole book was so raw and emotional I just had to continue reading. Just over half of the book all the parts are starting to close in on one focus and it gets better to read.
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24 November, 2016 delete

This one sounds so different from the books I usually pick up, so that alone makes me want to try it. I like the way you describe the story slowly being woven and interconnecting with all the characters.
-Kimberly @ Turning the Pages