‘Crossroads’ is Your New Summer Read Filled With UWS Nostalgia

Though reading is a year-round activity, it’s particularly enjoyable once the weather warms up. Think about it — there’s nothing quite like enjoying a good book in the spring and summer months, whether you’re relaxing in Central Park or soaking up the sun poolside on a weekend getaway. Naturally, deciding what to read is half the battle, and luckily, we have a contender that just may be your next page-turner. Introducing Crossroads, a debut novel from Maya Lippman.

crossroads book

The novel is intended for ages 16 and up, however, readers across a variety of demographics are picking up copies thanks in part to the familiar location: right here on the Upper West Side. Set in the gritty, exhilarating time period ranging from the 1960s to the 1980s, uptown Manhattan plays backdrop to a riveting plot, encompassing themes of love, betrayal and unforeseen consequences.

In summary, Crossroads navigates the lives of two best friends known as Cara and Ginny. As they come of age amidst a bygone era in New York, Cara grapples with her sexual feelings for Ginny, while Jake, Cara’s womanizing uncle, embarks on a tumultuous affair with Ginny, setting off a chain of events that leads to each one’s crossroads. Issues explored in the text include pertinent themes like sexual identity, Pro-Choice decision-making and self-discovery. Crossroads is a clear choice for readers who love a fast-paced book that includes a captivating twist, as an unexpected turn reveals a sinister plot from a woman scorned. Yes, it’s safe to say “gripping” is an understatement.

While the story is fictional, Lippman grew up in Morningside Heights (on West 115th and Broadway), which informs the nostalgic narrative. Familiar landmarks include the likes of Columbia University, West End Bar (which opened in 1911 and would later become Havana Central, now closed), St. Hilda’s and St. Hugh’s (which Lippman attended), the High School of Music and Art (before it became LaGuardia) and more. Any fans of Upper West Side history are sure to get a kick out of this walk down memory lane. Lippman understands it firsthand, and while she still calls the area home, there’s plenty she misses about yesteryear— including the “the old mom and pop shops that used to be on Broadway. Especially the old butcher shops with sawdust on the floor with incredible service.”

Reviewers are thoroughly impressed with this literary outing, with one singing its praises and stating, “What a great read; a fantastic book… wonderful to see two characters grow up together, travel down different paths and at heart remain true supportive friends… Also, the cast of the supporting LGBTQ characters are all real, positive and engaged in happy relationships.” Meanwhile, over on Amazon, Crossroads boasts a perfect score of five-star reviews, with comments like, “Fun read with an unexpected twist at the end” and, “[The book is] a piece of New York seen through the eyes of a young girl, both lovely and troubling, so real you think it may be non-fiction. Immensely enjoyable! Hoping for a sequel.”

Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Book Culture on 112th Street (among other locations), Crossroads is a tour de force that’s not to be missed.

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