"This is a terrific novel. It draws you down into working class Jersey in the mid-sixties, some edge-of-nowhere neighborhood near New York, a gritty world of struggling delis and little businesses and small-town hoods connected to bigger hoods. It puts you inside living, breathing characters you care about, who do things you wish they wouldn’t, and whom you follow with bated breath to see how they’ll get out of this. And the prose convinces you that, yes, small-time troubles such as these can feel so big for a boy of that age, an age when baseball can seem
Tamim Ansary, author of “West of Kabul, East of New York,” and “The Invention of Yesterday."
MY NEW NOVEL
through a broken window
It was a kids' softball tournament, but
one team insisted on playing hardball.
"I was wondering about the audience for Gary Turchin’s timely new novel, "Through a Broken Window," since its exceedingly sympathetic main character is a clever, baseball-playing 12-year-old kid named Jerry Epstein, one might guess a male, young adult audience – but wait! I’m a female baby boomer who was absolutely riveted by Jerry, his family, and his urban, middle class New Jersey community, all described through the fresh eyes of a youth growing up fast. The year is 1964, and danger lurks in Jerry’s seemingly ordinary, mid-century American world. Real-life mid-century American brutes appear in Jerry’s father’s deli, on the baseball field, and right in his own home. With humor as well as pathos, Turchin skillfully weaves the perils of mom-and-pop businesses, the Mafia, the Civil Rights Movement, schoolroom life, and not one but two different ball teams into smooth cloth, indeed. We witness Jerry’s most intimate relationships, for better or worse, and the trajectory of his range of feelings—guilt, fear, desire, hope and caring. Highly recommended for all ages, thoroughly engaging. " Elise Frances Miller, author of The Berkeley Girl.