Dennis Lehane’s The Given Day is an absolute pleasure and joy to read. Don’t worry about the size of the Book, the 732 Pages are full of compelling, Driving Storyline that you won’t leave the house without being sure the Book is with you. It’s a “Fierce-terrible” story of Boston 1919 and the formation of the first Police Union plus plenty more.
Babe Ruthe, the legendary Baseball Player and Star brings us into the Story when his train breaksdown in the countryside. He gets out and takes a walk. When he sees a group of coloured men playing Baseball, he joins in the game and plays the Game for the pleasure of it, but when his friends follow suit and the game begins to turn sour due to racist attitudes of the white players, Babe reflects on the situation and sets-up the tone of an excellent read about the interactions of Blacks and Whites living in a tense society where rules – however meaningless – must be followed.
Mr Ruthe serves as pivotal point of thought throughout the Epic Story The Given Day of Boston 1919 after the First World war has ended and the Troops Return to create and increase the size of the workforce. All those War jobs coming to an end, there is need for reorganisation in industry and the creation of a new economy.
The Spanish Flu swept across the counties and left death and misery in its wake, the Bolsheviks and Anarchist saw an opportunity to influence an unstable population on the pivot of going where not they know. Police and Politicians label these Movements terrorists and put them high on the agenda for destruction and abolishment. The consumption of alcohol is about to be made illegal through the Volstead Act of Prohibition. The consequences of which most of know. Amidst these harsh times is Danny and Luther Lawrence, Danny from the Irish-American Police Family of Coughlins and Luther a poor black man from Tulsa, who after a failed start to his marriage must head to Boston and finally meet Danny Coughlin the Policeman. Danny, is police through and through, but he knows that the times he lives in mean something is changing and that’s what causes his conscience to feel uncomfortable with simply following the order of the day in Boston.
Dennis Lehane has rendered a beautiful and intricate account of the events leading up to the Boston Police Strike and its eruption into a violent destruction of a city. A beautiful book written in a style that is woven like a tapestry pf colours that are hard to forget. Dennis Lehane’s best work that will not go down so easily because of its Powerful Author and the care he has taken to tell a tale of times past that remind us of today’s problems, and that maybe not much has changed when it comes to the Working Classes and those who make the Rules.
The Given Day by Dennis Lehane
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