Alligators in the Trees
Frank’s Coffee Shop on Manhattan’s Lower East Side becomes a safe haven for Tobias Jordan, a paparazzi-phobic 90s rock star, drawn to the obscurity of the dingy hole-in-the-wall, and Philip Glessner, a disgraced architect, who ducks inside to elude a posse of blood-thirsty reporters. What keeps both coming back is their waitress, Priscilla Vanderpool, who becomes an improbable paragon of virtue to the shell-shocked Philip, and an unwitting muse to gifted and jaded Tobias. But neither man sees her as she really is: a philosophical hard-luck case with a quick wit and a twenty-year habit of penning insightful and haunting lyrics that no one has ever heard.
Alligators in the Trees—a line from one of Priscilla’s songs—symbolizes the bugaboos that lurk in the minds of all three characters: in Tobias, the fear he’s lost his talent, and that his string of model-mistresses will be the downfall of his soul; in Philip’s guilt-ridden conscience as he struggles with the collapse of his most touted building and the prospect of losing custody of his daughter if he doesn’t meet his estranged wife’s demands; in Priscilla, the fear of actually making a decision about her life instead of always taking the path of least resistance. Fate intervenes and forces all three to act on their true desires.
“Alligators in the Trees is an artfully written tale weaving together the lives of three New Yorkers from vastly different walks of life. Ms Hamilton has a true talent for creating her characters; I really felt like I got inside their world, got to know them and appreciate how they played out their story with one another. They are likable, interesting, sometimes ornery and best of all believable! I love this book as it is full of wit and charm as well as being heartfelt and truly unpredictable. I especially loved the all the song lyrics, very cool.” ★★★★★
“Hamilton has created some believable and likeable characters. With her cast of Priscilla, Phil, and Tobias, the reader is brought along as they face some of the darkest moments in their lives. Instead of leaving them stagnant and one-dimensional, she draws them as if they really lived and breathed. They make terrible choices, they face consequences, and, in the end, they grow. And it is to Hamilton’s credit as a writer that we want to know what happens next to them.” ★★★★★
“This story is a romp through the very different lives of the three main characters, with everything turning around Priscilla, a down-and-out waitress who has basically lost her faith in her own ability to change her life. Two very different men, one an aging rock star and the other a top architect in the midst of a scandal, manage to weave their way into Priscilla’s life through a series of happenstance encounters that end up making all three of their lives better for the experience. It’s a tale of the odd ways that fate, imagination, and perseverance can change even the most seemingly inevitable outcomes.” ★★★★★