Cobble Hill

By Cecily Von Ziegesar

Atria. 320 pp. $27

Reviewed by Molly Sprayregen

With Cobble Hill, acclaimed Gossip Girl author Cecily Von Ziegesar has brought readers a brand-new — and fascinating— cast of adult characters.

The book follows the lives of four families who all live near one another in a wealthy Brooklyn neighborhood. Tupper is an inventor with an eclectic artist wife who is always disappearing and reappearing as she creates pieces of performance art around New York.

Mandy, the wife of an ex-rock star, fakes having multiple sclerosis to take a break from her life. Her husband, Stuart, finds himself falling for his son’s school nurse, Peaches, who finds herself falling right back while also managing problems in the life of her teenage son, Liam.

Then there is Roy Clarke, a famous author desperately seeking inspiration for his next book, and his wife Wendy, who uprooted her family from England to New York to find herself in a job she loathes.

Throughout the book, the lives of these families collide and entwine in unexpected ways. The story delves deep into the minds of each character, providing a dynamism that makes it impossible not to become invested in what happens to each one. It’s an intriguing examination of a wide variety of psyches and personas.

Cobble Hill is not the scandalous Upper East Side melodrama of Von Ziegesar’s past. It’s a story aimed at adults and is much calmer than what you may expect from the writer who brought you Blair Waldorf. This, however, is not a weakness. Von Ziegesar’s writing style is engaging, light, and fun, and the story is a delight to read.

From the Associated Press.