I believe there are different kinds of families — the ones we are born into or marry and those we connect with throughout life, at work or play or by chance. The people in this novel are a “family” who live in an apartment house in NYC.
The tenants are all misfits in one way or another. An artist who had a stroke at an early age; he has given up painting. A bipolar woman is afraid to leave her apartment. A thirty-three-year-old man has the mind of a child. His sister, with her need to care for him, has ruined her marriage. A stand-up comic has lost his touch and is no longer funny. The landlady has dementia. They all try to care for each other in their own ways. To me they feel like a family.
The story is funny, touching, and sad. Ms. Alcott’s characters are vivid and entertaining. She kept my interest from beginning to end.