SNOW IN AUGUST
by Pete Hamill
Historical Fiction; 384pp.
Brooklyn, 1947. The war veterans have come home. Jackie Robinson is about to become a Dodger. And in one close-knit working-class neighborhood, an eleven-year-old Irish Catholic boy named Michael Devlin has just made friends with a lonely rabbi from Prague.
“Snow in August” is the story of that unlikely friendship – and of how the neighborhood reacts to it. For Michael, the rabbi opens a window to ancient learning and lore that rivals anything in Captain Marvel. For the rabbi, Michael illuminates the everyday mysteries of America, including the strange language of baseball. But like their hero Jackie Robinson, neither can entirely escape from the swirling prejudices of the time. Terrorized by a local gang of anti-Semitic Irish toughs, Michael and the rabbi are caught in an escalating spiral of hate for which there's only one way out – a miracle....
Deeply affecting and wonderfully evocative of old New York, “Snow in August” is a brilliant fable for our time and all time -- and another triumph for Pete Hamill.
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