(Daniel James Brown, Viking, 404 pages including Index, $28.95)
A most absorbing and enjoyable read, this book fairly glides along, much like the eight man rowing crew that is at the center of this narrative.
Brown takes these relative unknowns and through their life histories weaves a story that transports the reader not only into their heads but into a whole other world, time, place, universe and sensibility.
Alternating the scene between Seattle and Berlin, the author takes historical fact and distills it into anecdotal essence, then blends those essences into a potent and heady mixture that makes you know what the Depression actually felt like, how it transformed so many lives and wrought so much change, some of it for the better and some of it for the worse.
As Brown’s narrative wends its way towards the inevitable conclusion we know is coming, one cannot shake the sensation that one is privy to a glimpse into the most intimate view of world events. This book is nothing less than exactly that remarkable.
Recommended for ages 16 and up. Four and a half stars (out of a possible five.)
A truly GOOD idea for gift-giving this holiday season!