BURIED BY AMBER
Residents of an apartment complex in Southwest Washington, D.C. organize when they learn to their dismay that their buildings have been surreptitiously and perhaps illegally sold as part of a complicated deal between a developer and a municipal housing agency whose purpose is to convert their quiet community into a housing project. The working title of the novel is Buried by Amber. The genre is literary fiction.
Tempers and disagreements flare regarding the most efficacious plan to respond to the sale and its implications, exposing the personal agendas and personality disorders of individual residents. The protagonist, transplanted New Yorker Dan Dreitzler, becomes enmeshed in the internal politics of a tenants association formed to exert a counterforce against the new order and mandated, invasive renovations undertaken at the premises while tenants are living in place. Dreitzler and others reach out to city agencies, city hall, and the courts to find a venue for a fair hearing which ultimately eludes them. Dreitzler works with and befriends a couple of the better angels of his building only to have to lose these two people as neighbors as their circumstances change: Monique Briscoe is a woman of color with a heart of gold who grew up in the segregated South; Patrick Lonergan is a man with a first-class intellect and technocratic background committed to changing public policy so that what happened to their households would never happen again.