An art-deco sentinel, The Helena apartment building has silently witnessed the changing face of South Miami Beach for seventy years, observing—without interfering—the countless lives housed within its walls. But a single unit has seen more life (and sometimes death) than others.
Those who have called Apartment 2B home include: a Cuban concert pianist who now only plays in a nursing home; the widow of an intelligence officer raising their young daughter alone; a man waiting on a green card marriage to run its course so that he can divorce his wife and marry his lover, all of whom live together in 2B; a Tajik building manager with a secret identity; a Vietnam vet receiving packages from his ex-wife. Each tenant imbues 2B with energy that can either heal or overwhelm the latest resident, Lana.
A mysterious woman struggling with her own demons, Lana mourns her beloved while unaware of the apartment’s sometimes tragic history. Distraught and alone, she is watched over by a ghost, and together these two strangers brought into community by The Helena will find a measure of comfort and purpose, gaining a new insight into what we all owe one another.
More about this collection
Ana Menéndez on Crafting a Connected Cast of Characters – LitHub.com interview
The Mystery of Fiction: An Interview with Ana Menendez – from Fiction Writer’s Review
Ana Menendez brings worlds to life in ‘The Apartment’ – a description of all the stories in this novel-in-stories courtesy of Tampa Bay Times