North River by Pete Hamill

James Delaney is a struggling physician, practicing on Manhattan’s West Side, in the middle of America’s worst depression. He is a veteran of WWI and has the scars to prove it. He lives in the ethnic boiling pot that made the West Side of Manhattan famous. He is a doctor to all who seek his help, whether they can afford to pay or not. However, he was apparently no help to his wife, Molly, or his daughter, Grace.

They have both left him. Molly, because she was angry with his going off to war and Grace because he never seemed to have time for her. Grace is an artist but has run off to Mexico with someone she met in New York. Even though his world is not what he dreamed of, Delaney is about to have his life become even more complicated. He comes home one night to find a little boy on his stoop with a note attached to his clothing. The boy is Carlos, Grace’s 3 year old son and Grace wants her father to take him in and care for him. It seems Grace is off to Russia to find the husband who has deserted her.

Delaney knows he must care for his grandson and through friends he is able to obtain the services of an Italian woman named Rosa, who will become Carlito’s nanny. Hamill’s story is the story of the Depression Era of the mid-thirties in the heart of New York. And you will meet all the characters one might expect to find in a Damon Runyon tale but Hamill is adept in his own right at carving out his own scenarios and you can feel the living breathing streets of Manhattan.
You will meet the good guys and the bad guys that can effect anyone’s life in this melting pot of the Big Apple, the hoodlums, the police, the homeless and the politicians. All will play a role as Delaney accepts the responsibility of raising his grandson. He has no idea if he will ever see either his wife or his daughter ever again. His new family will consist of Carlos and Rosa and all the characters of the lower West Side of Manhattan in the mid-thirties. Hamill will make you feel like you are right in the middle of this melting pot, that New Yorkers will easily recognize, and non-New Yorkers can easily imagine.

Find and reserve this book in our catalog.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s