51AnSCblo6LWhen the relationship between Francesca Thayer and her long-time boyfriend Todd begins to unravel, the house and business they shared must be sorted out. Somehow Francesca finds a way to buy Todd out so she can keep the house she loves in the West Village…and continue in the art gallery she enjoys so much.

But it means taking a new look at what constitutes a home and recreating how she lives. Taking in roommates is part of the plan, and after carefully vetting the applicants, she settles on an intriguing trio: Chris, a graphic designer with a part-time son; Eileen, the girl next door who is just starting out; and Marya, a cookbook author and chef who turns the kitchen into a homey place for them all.

44 Charles Street: A Novel is an enticing look at how life can bring surprises, even after loss and having to create a new way of living. But in the year that the roommates share the space, everything that happens won’t be wonderful. There will be sadness, great pain, and from it all comes a greater strength as the house mates gather around to help each other through. And then unexpected love and new beginnings brings closure to the experimental living arrangements as each of them moves on. But predictably, there are also new romances. In typical Steel fashion, the reader is offered a glimpse of glamour and beauty, from Paris to Boston to Vermont, with many happy times unfolding in New York. A pleasant read, for which I give four stars.


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