|This historical fiction coming-of-age novel redefines the meaning of family.
Joey, who is being reared by protective Jewish women, only knows his father as a voice on the radio and, being a very perceptive young man, he instinctively knows that he needs a male role model in his life. Charlie, who is the outsider in a competitive occupation, needs someone to look up to him.
The result of this mutual need is a novel that will often cause smiles, sometimes provoke outright laughter and, most certainly, summon a tear or two.
The main part of the story takes place in the 1940s, and is told by ephemera - letters, telegrams, menus, playbills and similar forms of communication.
The reader may, at first, find this method of storytelling hard to get used to, but give it a chance. You will immediately be caught up in the tale of Joey who starts out sending Charlie critical letters concerning his ball-playing abilities and ends up (thanks to his pal, Charlie) as a New York Giants bat boy.
At first, Charlie resents this nervy kid who is telling him how to do his job, but he ends up being Joey’s sponsor at his bar mitzva. (Charlie’s take on basic Bible stories is worth the price of the book!)
Other loveable characters include an understanding and sympathetic school principal (What a concept!) and an equally wise rabbi as well as Joey’s mother, Ida Margolis, and Charlie’s girlfriend, Hazel Scott, who is challenging Ethel Merman for the title of Queen of Broadway.
The Last Days of Summer is a definite home run.
If you are interested in this book or would like to learn more, contact me at info@bouldercity magazine.com.