North River by Pete Hamill
A Novel

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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 in Delaney's care. 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.

About Pete Hamill

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Pete Hamill is a novelist, journalist, editor, and screenwriter. He is the author of twenty previous books, including the bestselling novels Snow in August, Forever, North River, and Tabloid City and the bestselling memoir A Drinking Life. He lives in New York City.
Published June 11, 2007 by Little, Brown and Company. 353 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for North River

Kirkus Reviews

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Trying times, but the upside is that Delaney comes alive again, enchanted by Carlito and strongly attracted to the indispensable Rose.

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The New York Times

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He knows New York present and past, and he is able to make us taste the early-20th-century time frame of “North River” — Times Square with its “midnight places like Rector’s and Shanley’s and Churchill’s” and Delaney “inhaling perfumed shoulders on dance floors”;

Jul 08 2007 | Read Full Review of North River: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Hamill’s quietly engrossing novel skillfully conjures the gritty world of lower Manhattan during the Depression, weaving elements of suspense, comedy and romance as Jim Delaney navigates the melting pot city.

Oct 29 2007 | Read Full Review of North River: A Novel

Book Reporter

Delaney begins to see his city through the eyes of the boy, which is a brilliant device Hamill uses to show us the El speeding past crowded tenements where people lived “with the constant roar of the trains.” He takes the boy to Grand Central Terminal, the both of them “seeing beams of light push...

Jan 13 2011 | Read Full Review of North River: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

In 1934 Manhattan, it's not just the Depression that's got James Delaney down.

Jun 08 2007 | Read Full Review of North River: A Novel

USA Today

Once again, Pete Hamill is in a New York state of mind.The city is the beloved muse of this former newspaperman who has made a deft transition to novelist (Snow in August, Forever).But it's a New York dripping in nostalgia and, sometimes, sentimentality.As a reader, it's a bit of a shock in the m...

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Pete Hamill's North River is a love story.

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Monsters and Critics

Living in Greenwich Village just two blocks from the North River, Dr. James Delaney finds himself struggling with emotional baggage, the result of his service during World War I.

Jul 16 2007 | Read Full Review of North River: A Novel

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