If you were a city girl who grew up during this same period in America, many of the author's stories will resonate with you: not being able to play in the water on a hot summer's day, not even a wading pool, because of your parent's fear of polio; ducking under your desk or filing down into the furnace room during your school's air-raid drills; the book-and-brick smell of the local public library, where each of the books had a date-stamped sheet glued to its back cover.
Is that really me and my sister in the photograph on the back cover, or did all little girls wear bangs and plaid back then?
The most angst-filled stories in the book were about the author's father, who raised his young sister after being orphaned at an early age. His brother died of tetanus, his mother in child-birth, and his father, of grief. His one remaining sister died a few years later in a freak accident, but he managed to pull himself together after all of those untimely deaths, educated himself, got married, had children, became a Brooklyn Dodgers fan--all of this without self-pity or rancor. Maybe he really did belong to 'The Greatest Generation.'
This is a sweet coming-of-age story, guilelessly told--an excellent read for a nostalgic baby-boomer or a rabid baseball fan.
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