Friday, February 27, 2009

Snow in August

Fiction this month for the Student Services blog...

Snow in August by Pete Hamill

Set in post-WWII Brooklyn, Pete Hamill's Snow in August is the story of an Irish-Catholic boy and his unlikely friendship with an elderly rabbi.

11-year-old protagonist Michael Devlin life revolves around comic books, baseball, and his duties as an alter boy at the local church. His worldview begins to change, however, when he witnesses an attack on a local merchant and inadvertently becomes the Shabbos goy* for the local synagogue.

While Snow in August is a bit sentimental and melodramatic, it has heart. Its ending, which is a drastic deviation from the novel's gritty realism, will charm some readers and annoy others. I'd love to write more about it, but it is simply too hard to discuss the ending without spoiling it for those who haven't yet read the book.

* a non-Jew who does work on Sabbath that a Jew cannot do

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