It is 1934 and New York City is in the icy grip of the Great
Depression. With enormous compassion, Dr. James Delaney tends to his hurt,
sick, and poor neighbors, who include gangsters, day laborers, prostitutes, and
housewives. If they can’t pay he treats them anyway.
But in his own life, Delaney is emotionally numb, haunted by the
slaughters of the Great War. His only daughter has left for Mexico, and his
wife Molly vanished months before, leaving him to wonder if she is alive or
dead. Then, on a snowy New Year’s Day, the doctor returns home to find his
three year old grandson on his doorstep, left by his mother. Coping with this
unexpected arrival, Delaney hires Rose, a tough, decent Sicilian woman with a
secret in her past. Slowly, as Rose and the boy begin to care for the good
doctor, the numbness in Delaney begins to melt.
Recreating 1930s New York with the vibrancy and rich detail that are
his trademarks, Pete Hamill weaves a story of honor, family, and one man’s
simple courage that no reader will soon forget.
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