If you like your history with a whole lot of fiction and not much history, then this is the book for you. If you like a lot more history mixed in with the fiction, then you may be disappointed in this novel about New York. I definitely wanted more history with it. Granted, finding the right balance of history and fiction in an historical novel would be quite tricky unless you want to write a massive novel and at 860 pages this one is long enough.
I really did like the book despite feeling a little short-changed. In fact I liked it quite alot and would even count it as one of my favorites of the year. I enjoyed the stories of the Masters family and I liked how the author brought in other families to show the growth of the city through immigration and I liked how those families became part of the whole melting pot of New York, gradually assimilating and becoming part of the whole. I would, however, have liked more on the history side. Maybe the novel needed to be split into two.
I also enjoyed recognizing some of the places I have seen in New York. I haven't been much and the book has whetted my appetite for going again.
There was not much to complain about as far as cleanliness goes. Not much profanity or sex although enough adult situations to rate it PG-13.