A man responsible for keeping New York City alive falls for an underground animal activist from the wrong side of the East River in this compelling novel about love, loss, and resilience in the face of global ecological crisis.
With engaging, pared-down prose and immersive attention to the everyday realities of city living after eco-catastrophe, Weik Von Mossner does a great job of fostering chemistry between her characters as Jake learns not to be complacent with NYC’s status quo. Shavir, by contrast, is headstrong and driven in her personal mission to enact transformational change in society. Shavir and Jake sometimes clash but eventually come to a mutual understanding as Jake’s worldview continues to unravel. All this is set against a New York made even stranger, a mostly car-less city of urban farming and restless activism, where JFK’s underwater, the subway’s protected by a floodgate system, and the Village still hosts art openings.
This city comes to grand life throughout the novel, proving, just as New York always had, a center of change, creativity, and inequality. Despite elements of science-fiction and eco- thrillers, Fragile’s focus is on slice-of-life themes, the texture of existence in a possible world to come, and Shavir and Jake’s growing romance. That connection, and the resilience and dedication it takes to rebuild, is this smart, often touching novel’s heart.
Takeaway: Life goes on after eco-catastrophe in this near-future New York novel of connections and rebuilding.
Great for fans of: Emily St. John Mandel, Alison Stine.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A