Three-Martini Lunch

Written by Suzanne Rindell
Review by Kate Braithwaite

Three-Martini Lunch is an ambitious, enveloping exploration into the lives of three young adults struggling to make their way in their lives and careers in 1950s New York. Cliff, the son of an editor at a major publishing house, dreams of being a novelist but spends more time dreaming up publishing deals than writing stories. Eden is a bright young Jewish woman from Indiana. Her ambition is to be an editor, but she has a lot to learn about sexism and racism in the workplace. And Miles is a young black student from Harlem. He has a talent for writing and a journey to embark on, as he hopes to uncover some secrets from his father’s past.             As their lives intersect and all three learn many difficult lessons – about themselves and their choices, morals, and desires – the good, the bad and the ugly of 1950s America is vibrantly brought to life on the page.

Three-Martini Lunch is a weighty book. Although the prose is light and the pages turn quickly, this is a novel that does not flinch from the dark sides of human behavior. Racism, sexism, sexual violence, homophobia, deceit, revenge, lust: it is all here. These are characters that really leap off the page from the past. The result is, at times, a very sad and moving novel.