'' ''You went to Brooklyn?'' ''
To Find Your Future, You Have to Face Your Past
At sixteen, Morgan Lindstrum has the life that every other girl wants--at least from the outside. A privileged only child, she has everything she could ever want, except her parents' attention. A Princeton physicist and a high-powered executive, they barely have any time for each other, much less for Morgan. Then her beloved grandfather dies, depriving Morgan of the only stable figure in her life. If that's not enough, she suddenly finds out he was never her grandfather at all. To find out the truth about her family, Morgan makes her way to Brooklyn, where she meets Terence Mulvaney, the Irish immigrant father who her mother disowned. Morgan wants answers; but instead of just satisfying her curiosity, Mulvaney shows her the people in his condemned tenement building, who are suffering and have nowhere to go. He challenges her to help them, by tearing away the veil of shame, and showing her wealthy parents and her advantaged circle of friends a world they don't want to know exists. The temptation to walk away from this ugly reality, as her mother did, is strong. But if she does, can Morgan ever really leave behind what she learned when she crossed into Brooklyn?
When your own family won't give you the answers you desire, you must seek them from somewhere else. Morgan's mother is absent a lot, her father engrossed in his studies, neither of them talking to each other. So when a relative dies and bits and pieces of never heard before information filters into Morgan's ears, she can't help herself to leave the matter alone.
Morgan doesn't give up. When she sets her mind into something, she won't let the matter go before it is resolved entirely, and that is what gets her wrapped into things that were purposely hidden from her. Her hard-headedness gets her more often in trouble than not. You could admire her decisive attitude and that she wants to help even when she really can't. Morgan's character really is just a human who wants to get attention and love from her parents, but is forced to seek acceptance from elsewhere.
The whole story revolves around her mother's side of family. Her mother wasn't born in to riches, she didn't enjoy the lavish lifestyle she is accustomed now. Her family history is something you don't brag with other ladies of your social club. By hiding from it, almost entirely denying its existence, she has been able to keep her daughter in the dark. It begins as a mystery to the reader and ends as on as well. Not all the loose ends are tied in the end, so some answers the reader is left guessing, which is just an excellent way to keep the mystery up. It was fun to search for clues of who all the people were and then come to certain conclusions, whether I had been right or wrong.
Since Crossing Into Brooklyn is set in the real world there isn't much in the world building side. But what made an impression on me was the side of Brooklyn it displayed. To a person living across the pond, in the Northern woods, the picture of Brooklyn is the one from movies: beautiful houses, trees lining up the streets, homey feel to all, with corner shop cafés everywhere. The book painted the opposite picture, with a bit more eye-opening experience.
With less than three hundred pages, the book is fairly quickly read. The topics are a bit more in the lighter side which allows the story to flow with its own pace. Really recommend opening this one, if you are looking for something to read with a little mystery within.