In the basement of the apartment building where I used to live with my paternal grandmother, there was a laundry room painted in shades of gray-no doubt to camouflage the detritus from the lint traps and other New York dirt that seemed to find its way onto the concrete floors. The laundry room was a macrocosm of Manhattan society. There, the tenants-usually women-from a range of socio-economic backgrounds, ages, religions, and ethnicities, all gathered to perform the same routine tasks, unburdening themselves amid the washing machines and dryers although they would never have invited their fellow tenants into their own homes for the same conversation.
For years I observed this dynamic and finally, I decided to write about it, creating an intergenerational cast of women at various stages of their lives, from high school to long-widowed, each with her own story to tell. What emerged was not just the central character’s journey, but a voyage of discovery for all of the women whose lives are affected and impacted by Susan’s, culminating in a heartwarming, if ever-so-slightly bittersweet, conclusion.