SERENDIPITOUS TUESDAYS: INTROS/TEASERS — CLEANS UP NICELY — SEPT. 17

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teacups for teaser tuesdays

 

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Should Be Reading.

Today’s featured read is one I won from Gilion, at Rose City Reads. The book, Cleans Up Nicely, by Linda Dahl, is the story of the hard-edged decadent art scene in the 1970s.

 

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Intro:  Her destination, that summer of 1977, is a luxury apartment building, upper Fifth Avenue, a slice of New York life completely alien to her.  After the doorman confirms she’s expected and nods her toward the elevators, Erica crosses a sumptuous lobby tastefully decorated with white leather couches and stainless steel tables covered with lavish flower arrangements.  She is shaking.  She awkwardly recites the all-purpose, three-line mantra that Addie McC. has assured her will always help get her through any situation.  In the paneled elevator, she rides to the floor below the penthouse, where Addie McC. ushers her into an apartment with yet more expanses of white; it feels like entering a thirties movie set—there’s even a French bulldog to go with the expensive view of Central Park.

***

Teaser:  Leaving his building stoned only on caffeine, Erica stumbled and reeled as if she were drunk.  She caught a bus, transferred to another, sat with her eyes tightly shut and willed herself not to think of him.  And to her surprise, she was successful.  (p. 125)

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Amazon Blurb:  When twenty-something artist Erica Mason moves from laid-back Mexico to Manhattan in the mid-1970s, she finds a hard-edged, decadent, and radically evolving art scene.

Peppered with characters who could only come from the latter days of the turn-on-and-drop-out ’60s in then-crumbling New York (a spaced-out drummer who’s completely given up on using or making money, a radical feminist who glues animal furs to her paintings of vaginas, and icons in the making like Patti Smith), Erica’s New York is fast-moving, funny, and heartrending just like the city itself. Ultimately, her rite of passage is not only a love affair with art, men, alcohol, drugs, and music in the swirl that was the downtown scene in a radically evolving era in New York, but also a resurrection from addiction and self-delusion.

More than the study of a celebrated period of artistic expression, Cleans Up Nicely is the story of one gifted young woman’s path from self-destruction to a hard-won self-knowledge that opens up a whole new world for her and helps her claim the self-respect that has long eluded her.

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I am eagerly anticipating plunging into this book, a tale that spotlights a long-ago time that means youth for some of us.  What do you think of the opening?  Would you keep reading?

 

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41 thoughts on “SERENDIPITOUS TUESDAYS: INTROS/TEASERS — CLEANS UP NICELY — SEPT. 17

    1. You know, I think you’re right about that, but doesn’t that make us feel old? lol

      I recall seeing my “younger days” featured in my kids’ history books, and feeling ancient, too.

      But I do enjoy reading about this time period, Pat. Thanks for stopping by.

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  1. This book sounds great. I love the setting of NYC in the ’70s and, more specifically, the Park Ave. apartments and the lavish art scene. I also like Erica…nervous yet with the strength to enter an atmosphere and world alien to her. I would definitely continue reading this book to discover her story and whatever else these pages over…Enjoy! I look forward to your review!

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  2. Sex, drugs and rock-n-roll in 60’s/70’s NY, very cool. I like the intro (even without looking at the cover I was guessing that she had a drinking problem and was repeating the serenity prayer). Looks very interesting, will wait to read your review when up, though.
    Point of interest: my husband actually was at Woodstock in ’69 for the duration (he is 8 yrs. older than I). Now he is a quiet guy who doesn’t drink anything stronger than coffee, retired and puttering around the house, and no one would ever peg him as what he was in his teens. We all go through several stages in our life– I love when stories show character growth. Thanks for sharing this.

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  3. Pingback: WEEKLY SUNDAY/MONDAY UPDATES: BANNED BOOKS, BLOGGIESTA, & MORE — SEPT. 22 | SERENDIPITY

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