Plume, May 25 2010, $15.00
In Ashley-on-Hudson is the cul-de-sac Sylvan Street. Five families live in harmony in this suburban setting up the Hudson Valley from New York City. They are there for each other helping with their kids and more as everyone is a friend to everyone else. In fact Sylvan Street seems like a throwback to a more idyll almost naive era when suburbia was the goal of most Americans.
At a weekend pool party, a suitcase containing one million dollars is found and opened. Suddenly morality and family values prove meaningless as every one of the contenders scheme to possess the loot. Friends and families, the Levolices, the Canes, the Yanivs, the-Hansens, and the Margolis brood want to claim the cash. War has broken out on Sylvan Street.
With a modern day nod to the Treasure of the Sierra Madre (Traven’s book and the Bogart movie), Sylvan Street is a great character study as greed and need supersede friendship and to a degree family loyalty. Readers will enjoy this fast-paced character driven saga of the American dream; as many on Main St. are angry at Wall St. but want to move to Wall St. and as angry at the Federal government but want the Feds to lead the cleaning of the Gulf using someone else’s money; irony rules.