This week was when the various diverse strands of the first two books begin to come together. I'm sure that Helprin has a few more twists in store, but the overwhelming sense is that, now, 400+ pages into the novel, Helprin has finally manuvered the characters into place (across the country and, in a few instances, through decades in time) so that he can write his climactic couple of acts.
Since the beginning of the book, the fog of New York harbor has been attributed magical, time-travel qualities. Peter Lake and, eventually, the entire ship from Book 2 emerge from the fog, in the New York City of 1995 and, at that point, we begin to see how the five or six different threads of the novel's first 400 pages are beginning to weave themselves together. The entire sequence at St. Vincent's Hospital - a hospital whose sick wards I know intimately - charmed me immensely, and the stuff at The Sun/The Ghost was entertaining, even if it didn't seem to advance the plot or the characters quite as much as the rest of the chapters. But its not like Helprin to burn 30 pages without planting a few seeds that will sprout later on in the novel, which begs the question: what from those chapters is going to become important later on? Does anybody have a guess?