It is 1934, and New York City is in the icy grip of the Great Depression. With enormous compassion, Dr. James Delaney tends to his hurt, sick, and poor neighbors, who include gangsters, day laborers, prostitutes, and housewives. If they can't pay, he treats them anyway. But in his own life, Delaney is emotionally numb, haunted by the slaughters of the Great War. His only daughter has left for Mexico, and his wife Molly vanished months before, leaving him to wonder if she is alive or dead.
Then, on a snowy New Year's Day, the doctor returns home to find his three-year-old grandson on his doorstep, left by his mother in Delaney's care. Coping with this unexpected arrival, Delaney hires Rose, a tough, decent Sicilian woman with a secret in her past. Slowly, as Rose and the boy begin to care for the good doctor, the numbness in Delaney begins to melt. Recreating 1930s New York with the vibrancy and rich detail that are his trademarks, Pete Hamill weaves a story of honor, family, and one man's simple courage that no reader will soon forget.
A romantic historical novel set against an idealized backdrop of 1930s New York, where bad things happen but through a soft-focus lens of nostalgia in which the poor are hardworking and honest with hearts of gold, gangsters have mothers and feelings, and the snow falls softly all around. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
The Washington Post - Anthony Giardina
There's a line between loving the past and loving it so much that you falsify it. Too much love, as the tough-minded Rose might have told Delaney, becomes a kind of chokehold. It's not only kids who get spoiled by it; novels do, too.
Entertainment Weekly - Tanner Stransky North River casts an engaging spell, and Manhattan-lovers will delight in the gritty particulars. A-
Booklist - Brad Hooper
Starred Review. Hamill is not ordinarily thought of as a historical novelist, but if, as the saying goes, the shoe fits, wear it. It is an extremely good fit here.
Starred Review. Hamill...has crafted a beautiful novel, rich in New York City detail and ambience, that showcases the power of human goodness and how love, in its many forms, can prevail in an unfair world.
Pete Hamill started his career
at the New York Post in
1960. He is the author of seven
novels and two collections of
stories, and his writing has
appeared in most national
magazines. He has been a
columnist for many years, and
currently writes for New York's
Daily News He lives in
New York City with his wife,
writer Fukiko Aoki.
More at BookBrowse.
A mesmerizing tribute to friendship and sisterhood, romance and redemption, written with such insight and passion that the characters' stories will remain with you long after you have read the last page.
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