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BOOK REVIEW: NORTH RIVER
BY PETE HAMILL

We hope you enjoy this book review by Gunta Krasts Voutyras.

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Pete Hamill's North River is a love story. It is a story of and about Dr. Jim Delaney and his love for the neighborhood in which he was born and raised. Now he is practicing medicine in this same neighborhood. He carries lingering love in his heart for all of which he has lost including the use of one arm, his wife, and now it seems his daughter.

One snowy morning he finds a tiny boy sitting in an old rattle trap stroller in his vestibule with a note pinned to the boy's clothing. The boy's name is Carlos.

This novel consists of 341 pages of love, suffering, making do, of tenements teaming with torment, disease, poverty and death. The neighborhood is that of 14th Street and Mott Street, lower Manhattan during the Depression. There are vivid descriptions of old Tammany Hall, Fiorello La Guardia and his newly elected city government, well described moments of the daily operations of the Mob and friendships at old St. Vincent's Hospital. There are watchful and helpful eyes for Dr. Delaney from the neighborhood police.

This kaleidoscope of a novel walks us through emotional descriptions of Molly, Dr. Delaney's lost wife and his love for his daughter and all that he carries in his heart and mind. He dispenses medicines, advice, guidance and the ambulance when needed. He is the man his neighborhood looks up to and comes to in time of trouble which is every day of every week.

Then one day a woman named Rosa walks in the door. She was sent by a neighborhood restaurant owner to help with Carlos. With her walks in her Sicillian ways, her habit of reading the Daily News with an open dictionary, good cooking and in time love for Dr. Delaney. After having gone through the Great War, personal loss, and estrangement from his daughter, Jim Delaney finds himself responding to Rosa's love and therefore is alive again. This is a marvelous story. Only Pete Hamill can write a novel like this. Every word is loaded with emotion like a gun. I suggest that all of you run out, buy this book, and don't put it down until you have finished it.

REVIEWED BY GUNTA KRASTS VOUTYRAS

DO NOT REPRINT WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, GUNTA KRASTS VOUTYRAS


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