Brief synopsis: The second installment of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City series follows many of the characters from the first novel as they navigate the alternative lifestyles and underground culture of San Francisco in the 1970s. There’s Mary Ann Singleton, a new transplant from Cleveland, Ohio, who leaves a sheltered life behind; Michael Tolliver, affectionately known as “Mouse”, looking for prince charming;  Mona Ramsey, Mary Ann’s bohemian neighbor; and Anna Madrigal, the motherly landlady of 28 Barbary Lane, the place Mary Ann, Michael, and Mona call home.

Rating✈  Travel companion

Long story short: Having grown up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I simply adore this series. The characters are a diverse set of people and the way their narratives weave in and out is engaging and keeps the reader on her toes. Chapters switch back and forth between different stories, but each is connected to the overall arch of the novel.

There isn’t a whole lot I can say without giving away important plot points (the less you know the better), so if you find yourself on the road or on the beach, think about taking this series along with you (I recommend starting with book #1: Tales of the City).

The first and last book of the series. I need to hunt down the rest, they’re hiding somewhere in the bookshelves…

Have you read anything by Armistead Maupin? What did you think?