A stunning star-crossed love story set against the glitz and grit of 1980s New York City
When Elise Perez meets Jamey Hyde on a desolate winter afternoon, fate implodes, and neither of their lives will ever be the same. Although they are next-door neighbors in New Haven, they come from different worlds. Elise grew up in a housing project without a father and didn’t graduate from high school; Jamey is a junior at Yale, heir to a private investment bank fortune and beholden to high family expectations. Nevertheless, the attraction is instant, and what starts out as sexual obsession turns into something greater, stranger, and impossible to ignore.
The couple moves to Manhattan in search of a new life, and White Fur follows them as they wander through Newport mansions and East Village dives, WASP-establishment yacht clubs and the grimy streets below Canal Street, fighting the forces determined to keep them apart. White Fur combines the electricity of Less Than Zero with the timeless intensity of Romeo and Juliet in this searing, gorgeously written novel that perfectly captures the ferocity of young love.
Set in the late 1980s, Libaire's novel is an erotic and gritty reinterpretation of Romeo and Juliet. When straitlaced Yale student Jamey Hyde meets rough-around-the-edges Elise Perez, the two engage in a hot and heavy relationship that transcends divisions of background and class. At the end of his junior year, Jamey takes a summer internship in New York City and invites Elise to come with him. Despite the numerous social and economic barriers keeping the two apart, their bond intensifies, eventually pushing Jamey to disown his family, sign away his inheritance, and drop out of school before the start of his senior year. With no concrete plans for the future, the two embrace their new life in Manhattan's East Village, fighting internal and external battles along the way. Major plot points leave the reader skeptical, but the novel benefits from the author's deft use of language. Writing with all the senses, Libaire demonstrates an ability to evoke vivid moods and places, drawing a stark and realistic depiction of '80s Manhattan. She also succeeds at giving equal weight and attention to both her protagonists, elegantly toggling between their perspectives. The most lively, memorable, and convincing character in the novel is the setting itself.
An unpredictable and fascinating story. I loved every minute of reading this book and was disappointed when it ended.