1929 (Jonathan's Cross)

1929 (Jonathan's Cross) - M.L. Gardner "Jonathan's Cross" is the story of three couples (Jon and Ava, Aryl and Claire, Caleb and Arianna) who lose everything in the 1929 Wall Street Crash. Gardner's tale takes readers through their life in a tenement (renting from the "villain" of the story, a rather two-dimensional guy named Victor Drayton who was once in love with Ava), moving back to their home town and so on as they try to rebuild their fortunes. We also get to know their neighbors and their former servants -- all of whom are more than willing to help their former employers get through some challenging times.The three male protagonists are interesting and well-drawn characters, each with his own personality quirks. I found myself unable to connect with any of the female protagonists, unfortunately; they all seemed to be fairly whiny. I also couldn't figure out why all of the couples went from "we're in no position to have kids" to "let's hurry up and start a family" within mere pages. The sudden rabid desire to procreate came out of nowhere, and eventually became like a contest to see who would have the first kid.There were a couple of continuity issues (e.g., Victor makes a big point of raising the arson insurance on the tenement, and then nothing ever comes of that) and some minor homophone issues.Overall, it was a good book with a great story to tell about how difficult things were during the Depression. I would have preferred some more development of the "villain" and the women in the tale, but that's a matter of personal preference and other readers may well see things differently.