Afterword by Laura Hapke
Lynn is a bright, ambitious young woman, living on her own for the first time in 1930s New York City, where the streets and subways teem and throb with life. Each day, Lynn joins the crowds of people who stream into the towering new heart of the cityscape. The Seacoast Building, the gleaming new skyscraper that thrusts itself toward the stratosphere, represents wealth, power, the triumph of engineering over nature—and the masculine world that women must learn to navigate if they seek careers of their own.
Lynn loves the gleaming marble elevators, the rows of polished desks and filing cabinets, the world of paper and numbers and business. Soon, Lynn also loves Tom, the young man she meets in the skyscraper's coffee shop. Lynn and Tom are so in love, if they don't get married, something improper is bound to happen. But jobs are getting scarce in the early years of the Depression, and the Seacoast Company has a strict new policy: Any woman who marries will be immediately dismissed from her job.
Making matters even more complicated is David Dwight—powerful, handsome, charismatic, separated from his wife, and a well-known seducer. Lynn is innocently flattered by what seems to be his fatherly interest in her, which includes invitations to stylish parties and to his spectacular country estate. But fatherly interest is not what David Dwight has in mind, and he usually gets what he wants.
First published in 1931—the same year the Empire State Building opened its doors—Skyscraper marks the advent of a new kind of romance plot, and Lynn a new kind of heroine. Like so many young women protagonists before her, Lynn faces choices that will determine the course and quality of the rest of her life. But rather than just choose between suitors, Lynn and other working girls like her must decide whether to abandon their jobs, their careers, and their financial independence—or abandon their men. They can't have both—or can they?
Its dramatic setting and lively plot twists quickly brought this novel to the screen: Skyscraper Souls (1932) starred Maureen O'Sullivan (fresh from her breakthrough role as Jane in Tarzan the Ape Man and the super-suave Warren William in a racy pre-Code drama that centered on David Dwight and his shady dealings in both business and love.
"A captivating and quietly subversive novel, featuring a spunky young working woman struggling to make it on her own. Skyscraper declares that despite all challenges, women should insist on their right to have it all."
"With its sexual bargains and betrayals, insider trades and financial maneuvers, Skyscraper is Pulp Fiction at its best."
"It's wonderful to see this lively and richly detailed romance back in print."
Also Of Interest
- Bunny Lake Is Missing
- Evelyn Piper