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Dr. James Delaney returned to New York after the war. He always dreamed of becoming a surgeon but due to injuries received during the war that was not possible.
It is l934 and the period in history known as the Great Depression. Dr. Delaney helped the hurt, sick and poor neighbors whether or not they could pay for his service. His parents both died from the influenza outbreak while he was in a hospital recovering from his war wounds. His wife, Molly, was not happy that he volunteered for the service and left. The only person remaining was his daughter, Grace, who was not around very long because she left to look for her husband who was a revolutionary.
Dr. Delaney’s job of helping others became his outlet and his life. His patients included many kinds including gangsters.
One day Dr. Delaney returned to his home and found his three-year-old grandson on his doorstep. Delaney hired Rose, an Italian woman, to help care for the boy. There is one problem though – Rose has a secret in her past. What is it?
Dr. Delaney is now discovering that his life is starting to change with the presence of Rose and his grandson in his home,
Frankie Botts is a gangster who isn’t happy with Dr. Delaney for treating one of his rivals and not revealing where he can be located.
Is Dr. Delaney’s life in danger due to the threats Frankie Botts is making? What will happen to the relationship between Dr. Delaney and Rose? Will his daughter return for her son? How about his wife?
Pete Hamill does a magnificent job with his descriptions of New York during the Great Depression. It is obvious that this is a city he knows very well. What really makes this book so good is the author’s depiction of the characters – not only the main ones but also even those who play a small role. The plot is engrossing because there are many things going on at the same time and the writing is very descriptive as only Pete Hamill can do. What more could a reader want? Be sure to add North River to your reading list.