Westfield Author:Roderick Thorp Against a backdrop of New York, Roderick Thorp has created a novel that goes far beyong the traditional family saga. Thorp, a master storyteller, introduces us to three generations of one family--their enduring loves, disasters, and violence. As each Westfield generation goes through life, blinded by their dreams of love and retribution, they ... more »suffer the inevitable fate of all dreamers--the possibilities of their dreams coming true. The Westfield saga is imbued with the ambience of both high and low life etched in fascinating detail, but essentially Westfield is about people, so richly and fully presented that we become vulnerable to their joys and sufferings.
New York in the early 1850s. The young, handsome, and charming Thomas Westfield has come to the city with no particular ambitions or convictions. Soon he is swept into the world of politics by day and bordellos by night. Playing his political connections into wealth and respectability, Westfield manages to marry Louise, the beautiful and conventional daughter of one of his business acquaintances. Cold and repressed, caring only for appearances, Louise give Westfield a son and daughter and very little else. Westfield seeks love in the arms of his mistress, Kate Regan, a sixteen-year-old child-woman from the slums forced to earn her living by whatever means she can. In his unquenchable passion for Kate, Westfield adopts the young Michael, an orphan who witnessed the brutal death of his parents. It is Westfield's dream that Michael will bind him and Kate together, but as his life goes on, Westfield tastes the bitterness of a doomed love and takes to drinking with a sense of self-loathing and disappointment.
This is part of the legacy he gives Michael, whom he comes to love deeply. A quiet and secretive young man with control and passions far beyond his years, Michael is obsessed with avenging his parents' deaths. He gains revenge but is forever captive to the violence of his retribution. The only person to see this clearly is Kate Regan--nearly Michael's age. It was she who arranged his adoption. Throughout his life Michael finds sustenance and solace with this remarkable woman. Though he experiences the purity of love only with his wife Emily, he is a man who can never be released from his violent nature. It is not until he witnesses the seeds of his corruption planted in his own children that Michael reallizes the staggering cost of his revenge.
Behind stands the city of New York. Changing from the half-bucolic town of the 1850s, in which the tallest building Westfield could see was the spire of Trinity Church, to the honky-tonks and gangster violence that entrap Michael's sons--the city and all its history is omnipresent. The Westfields are both products of and metaphors for the transformation of the life of the greatest city in the world.« less