THE MUSEUM OF EXTRAORDINARY THINGS, by Alice Hoffman
In the tenements of lower Manhattan, Ezekiel Cohen sees his father as humiliatingly weak, and when the man flings himself into the Hudson River, Ezekiel leaves the family tenement and apprentices to a photographer. In lyrical prose, in diary entries (or are they musings set on paper?) by Coralie and Ezekiel-Eddy, interspersed with third-person narrative, Hoffman brings the bustle and noise, the filth and despair, of New York in the early 1900's. Hard to believe it was such a short time ago. Eddy, now a photographer, witnesses the horrors of the Triangle fire. Coralie, repressed and dominated by her selfish and cruel father, dreams of love. This was a hard book to put down. A 5. Historical fiction at its very best. Superb selection for a book club.