"WHY WE CAME TO THE CITY" is a story for the millennial generation with its focus on 4 people (George, Sara, Jacob, and Irene) whose familial bonds as friends were forged at university in the late 1990s and reaffirmed at an annual holiday party at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan in late December 2008 in the immediate wake of the financial crisis. I don't usually read fiction that is contemporary or close enough to the present because the genre doesn't interest me very much. But I leafed through a few pages of this novel one day in a local independent bookstore and my curiosity was whetted. So, I dug into my wallet and made the purchase.
Kristopher Jansma has crafted a well-written, funny, wry, sad, and reflective novel of a generation poised to fully assume its place in the world much as previous generations have done. (He is a writer to be watched.) What makes the novel especially poignant is that within this circle of 4, tragedy would strike it a cruel blow that would both cast a shadow and a light upon the preciousness and fragility of life and relationships.