The Sorting Room by Michael Rose

“A moving and evocative tale, sweeping in scope- Its depiction of Depression-era New York City is vivid and haunting.” Amazon

Publishes: September 21, 2021

Michael Rose was raised on a small family dairy farm in Upstate New York. He retired after serving in executive positions for several global multinational enterprises. He has been a non-executive director for three public companies headquartered in the U.S. The Sorting Room is his debut novel. He lives and writes in San Francisco.

The Grateful Reader Review by Dorothy Schwab

A game of marbles led to an accident leaving ten-year-old Eunice Ritter’s older brother mentally impaired. In 1928, New York City, Eunice is forced to support her alcoholic parents and her siblings, as punishment for the accident. The spunky Eunice convinces David Welles, owner of an industrial laundry, to give her a chance at a job in his “sorting room.” Against his better judgement and not expecting her to last 15 minutes, Eunice begins her life’s work.   With Gussie as a mentor and Mr. Welles’ gambling brother, Martin, and cousin Alfred as enemies, Eunice not only survives the stench and grueling shifts, but eventually becomes a supervisor. Michael Rose stirs the melting pot of Prohibition-era New York City with Swedish immigrants escaping tragedy and Native Americans escaping the reservation.

 As the saga slowly unfolds Rose’s characters evolve with clarity and depth so readers will be cheering for Eunice and Gussie, hopeful for Joshua and Jackson from the reservation and despising Eunice’s father and JP, the wicked man she’s forced to marry.  Rose lends a much-needed lift with a clever sense of humor in reference to Eunice as a witch and uses a mirror in a bar scene to give readers a different and interesting view of patrons. Eunice plods through her life with perseverance, enduring her marriage of “slavery” since women still need a husband’s signature for a lease. Rose adds suspense with a kidnapping and continuity with the thread of the ‘annual Mother’s Day trip to Grammas.’  Readers will develop sincere empathy for Eunice and the family she creates as Michael Rose’s debut novel opens with foreshadowing of a life to come- a spunky ten-year-old girl lands a job with the ‘dirty dirties’ in The Sorting Room.

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