By Patrick Finegan
Publisher: Two Skates Publishing
Date Reviewed: August 6, 2019
Release Date: March 18, 2019
Who fully knows who their neighbors are and what they do day to day? Just how intertwined is your life with your neighbors? Probably a lot deeper than you could ever imagine. This is just what Patrick Finegan's Cooperative Lives takes a comprehensive investigative look into, pulling the reader into an apartment building in New York City and the lives of its residents.
Cooperative Lives is a true slice of life novel and is so exquisitely detailed that the reader cannot help but feel as if they are living right amongst them. Finegan takes you on tour through the lives of several people who appear on the surface to only be connected through their residential location. The careful web that is created from chapter to chapter delves deeper into their relationships showing just how interwoven their lives really are; everything from financial advisors to saving a neighbor's life, no stone is left unturned by Patrick Finegan.
The author keeps the freshness of the narrative flowing throughout from chapter to chapter by changing the point of view, giving fresh eyes to the situations that bind the characters together. However, rather than it being a quick flit from person to person, the reader is granted an in-depth look into each character's life, drives, passions, motivations and the hurdles they have had to overcome to get where they are. From this it is hard to not connect to each character and be completely consumed by their lives.
Cooperative Lives is a true testament of Finegan's pure literary creative skill that casts a huge shadow over all things that have come before in the genre. This is not a book that a reader can blitz through in a matter of hours and that is good as the immense quality of writing needs to be savored from word to word. With heart-stopping revelations that the reader simply will not see coming and the most detailed character development that could ever find its way into literature, this is a novel to be savored and revisited again and again in the future.
For those who haven't been a part of the New York City world and society, Cooperative Lives will have them feeling as if they had been right there all this time. Finegan skillfully intertwines the full experience of a New York life including religion, medicine, investments, and information technology for the reader to enjoy and experience at their leisure. New York City is literally brought to life on the page; the reader can walk the streets without even leaving the comfort of their home. Every aspect of this novel is so carefully thought out, explained and described that it is a truly immersive narrative that will leave the reader fully satisfied at the end. Finegan couldn't have asked for a better outcome and a more interesting read for his readers than Cooperative Lives and no doubt he has them begging for the next installment of literary work.
"A Dixie cup on the table served as a makeshift ash tray. It contained several butts, each bearing traces of lipstick. Old smoke hung in the air. Susan thought of her sublet in Hell's Kitchen. Hannah would have fit in fine."
Patrick Finegan was born during the latter half of the Eisenhower Administration and graduated during the Carter and Reagan Administrations from Northwestern University and the University of Chicago Law School and Graduate School of Business. He worked more than thirty years in law, corporate finance, management consulting and risk management. He has a wife and grown daughter and has lived in the New York metropolitan area his entire professional life – most of that time in the same residential co-operative. Cooperative Lives is his first work of fiction.
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