Twelve-year-old Sarah Stein loves life in New York. Who wouldn't, growing up in a cool TriBeCa loft with an artist dad and a chocolate-maker mom, rollerblading in Central Park, hanging out with friends? That is, until the day her parents tell her theyÆre divorcing.
Forced to shuttle each day by bicycle between their separate residences on either side of the Brooklyn Bridge, Sarah soon discovers that the parents she thought she knew are as opposite as their new homes. She takes on a bizarrely split identityùone day she's the daughter of the prim, social-climbing chocolatier, the next the streetwise, smart-aleck child of the downtown abstract painter. Sarah Stein becomes a stranger to herself.
But that's not the only thing that's strange.
Colliding with the cart of a homeless man one day while pedaling across the bridge, Sarah tumbles through a magical portal and into an upside-down world of double identities and second chances. Through her friendship with the homeless Clarence Wind, a disgraced fireman missing since 9/11, and the love of her grandmother, a wise Holocaust survivor with her own hidden past, Sarah unlocks the mysteries behind the strangeness that she and Clarence share.
In this witty, wonder-filled novel about broken homes and disconnected lives, with the majestic Brooklyn Bridge as backdrop and the legacies of the Holocaust and the Twin Towers as backstory, Sarah Stein's adventures prove both heartbreaking and heartwarming, an enchantment for readers of all ages.
Praise for Thane Rosenbaum's Second Hand Smoke
Rosenbaum creates a tone and a world that are quite extraordinary. . . . Larger than life, but true to life--a cracked fun-house mirror whose distortions are still always recognizable. --New York Times Book Review
An expansive, challenging novel. . . . Vivid, colorful, singular. --Boston Globe
Thane Rosenbaum, author of the critically acclaimed novels The Golems of Gothom, Second Hand Smoke, and Elijah Visable, is also a law professor at Fordham Law School. He lives in New York City.