Brownstone, a proletarian, slice-of-life novel set during the McCarthy Era was described by a Negro journalist in a dispatch for circulation among Negro newspapers as "a novel for readers weary of sensationalism, brutality and despair. The story discloses the drama in the lives of ordinary people thrown together in a brownstone-front rooming house on Manhattan's Upper West Side. It is held together by Martha, the Negro housekeeper portrayed with dignity and rare understanding Her warmth and wisdom are decisive in several difficult situations faced by the other characters. Miguel, a garment worker and the first sympathetic Puerto Rican character ever portrayed in a novel by a white author, confronts a crisis with a hostile employer. The other characters, all white, including a clerical worker, who at 37, must decide whether to sell herself into a loveless marriage; a recent divorcee, who at 50 tries to rebuild her life; a young man who dodges the draft. With an accumulation of intensely moving detail, the author examines the loneliness in which people are driven in the large cities of America and shows that it is this isolation that impels them to unnatural choices and actions."