The Crazyladies of Pearl Street by Trevanian
A Novel

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Legendary writer Trevanian brings readers his most personal novel yet: a funny, deeply felt, often touching autobiographical novel destined to become a classic American coming-of-age story.

The place is Albany, New York. The year is 1936. Six-year-old Jean-Luc LaPointe, his little sister, and their spirited but vulnerable young mother have been abandoned—again—by his father, a charmer and a con artist. With no money and no family willing to take them in, the LaPointes manage to create a fragile nest at 238 North Pearl Street. For the next eight years, through the Great Depression and Second World War, they live in the heart of the Irish slum, with its ward heelers, unemployment, and grinding poverty. As Jean-Luc discovers, it’s a neighborhood of “crazyladies”: Miss Cox, the feared and ridiculed teacher who ignites his imagination; Mrs. Kane, who runs a beauty parlor/fortune-telling salon in the back of her husband’s grocery store; Mrs. Meehan, the desperate, harried matriarch of a thuggish family across the street; lonely Mrs. McGivney, who spends every day tending to her catatonic husband, a veteran of the Great War; and Jean-Luc’s own unconventional, vivacious mother.

Jean-Luc is a voracious reader who never stops dreaming of a way out of the slum. He gradually takes on responsibility for the family’s survival with a mix of bravery and resentment while his mom turns from spells of illness and depression to eager planning for the day when “our ship will come in.” It’s a heartfelt and unforgettable look back at one child’s life in the 1930s and ’40s, a story that will be remembered long after the last page is turned.

Look for these Trevanian classics from Three Rivers Press: Shibumi, The Eiger Sanction, The Loo Sanction, The Summer of Katya, and The Main.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Trevanian

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Trevanian’s books have been translated into more than fourteen languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. He lives in the French Basque mountains. His new novel, The Crazyladies of Pearl Street, is now available in hardcover. Visit his website at the Trade Paperback edition.
Published June 7, 2005 by Crown. 384 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Eventually, Jean-Luc’s mother meets another man—a decent one she can’t help criticizing for being such a mark, since she’s still in love with her undependable first husband—yet it’s an event that signals the end of the family’s time on Pearl Street.

Jun 07 2005 | Read Full Review of The Crazyladies of Pearl Stre...

Publishers Weekly

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Affectionate portraits of the titular eccentric women punctuate Trevanian's sprawling tale: Luke observes the beleaguered and self-destructive Mrs. Meehan and meets the reclusive Mrs. McGivney, who perpetually relives a happier past while caring for a catatonic husband.

May 09 2005 | Read Full Review of The Crazyladies of Pearl Stre...

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