A captivating debut novel, Hidden marvelously re-creates New York City in the 1920s, from the hustle and bustle of the Lower East Side to the hushed hallways of the homes of the rich and powerful. In graceful, eloquent prose, Victoria Lustbader presents a fierce, compelling story of loyalty, forbidden desire, and the end of innocence.
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. David sacrifices his family and his Jewish heritage in pursuit of his untamable ambition, while, in eerie parallel, Jed sacrifices his private desires to assume the burdens of familial expectations.
David’s young sister Sarah suffers the torments of a sweatshop and hardens her heart to the brother she once adored. Jed’s rebellious sister Lucy 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 falls hard for David, who belongs to 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.