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The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store: A Novel de…
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The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store: A Novel (original: 2023; edição: 2023)

de James McBride (Autor)

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,5807611,254 (4.12)98
"In 1972, when workers in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, were digging the foundations for a new development, the last thing they expected to find was a skeleton at the bottom of a well. Who the skeleton was and how it got there were two of the long-held secrets kept by the residents of Chicken Hill, the dilapidated neighborhood where immigrant Jews and African Americans lived side by side and shared ambitions and sorrows. Chicken Hill was where Moshe and Chona Ludlow lived when Moshe integrated his theater and where Chona ran the Heaven & Earth Grocery Store. When the state came looking for a deaf boy to institutionalize him, it was Chona and Nate Timblin, the Black janitor at Moshe's theater and the unofficial leader of the Black community on Chicken Hill, who worked together to keep the boy safe. As these characters' stories overlap and deepen, it becomes clear how much the people who live on the margins of white, Christian America struggle and what they must do to survive. When the truth is finally revealed about what happened on Chicken Hill and the part the town's white establishment played in it, McBride shows us that even in dark times, it is love and community--heaven and earth--that sustain us."--… (mais)
Membro:maitrigita
Título:The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store: A Novel
Autores:James McBride (Autor)
Informação:Riverhead Books (2023), 400 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:***
Etiquetas:read 2023

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The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store de James McBride (2023)

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A splendid tale with a collection of memorable characters and a captivating plot. ( )
  snash | Apr 22, 2024 |
In 1972, workers were digging a new foundation in Pottstown, Pennsylvania when they found a skeleton at the bottom of a well. To figure out who it is, The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store goes back 40 years to the secrets of the neighborhood of Chicken Hill, a dilapidated neighborhood where immigrant Jews and African Americans lived side by side.

This book was ultimately about the community of Chicken Hill, rallying together in order to protect a young deaf boy they’ve named Dodo, from being taken by the state to an institution. It starts off with a murder mystery, but to be honest, that wasn’t at all the most interesting part of the story.

This is one of those books where I kind of wish I did ½ star ratings and not rounding up, because I don’t really think this is a 4 star book, but I don’t think it’s a 3 star one either. I listened to this on 2x speed on a Saturday while I did some deep cleaning of my book shelves and yes, I totally missed some things here and there, but a lot of it was repeated stuff. I know the author was showing how all the characters were connected, but the characters all already knew this, and we, the reader, mostly knew that stuff too.

We meet a lot of characters in this book, but I really enjoyed Chuna, the outspoken wife who runs the grocery store. And of course Dodo.

Was this book of the year for me - no. It actually left me a bit disappointed to be completely honest. It’s rich and full of characters, but it also went on and on in places it could have been edited out and also broke away from the story to give us background information that wasn’t always necessary to keep the book going. Maybe I’ll sit down and physically read it one day, and not as an audiobook, but as of right now, this is where I stand with it. ( )
  oldandnewbooksmell | Apr 22, 2024 |
James McBride's 381-page novel The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store combines elements of group comedy, cultural history, thriller, and love story. The story takes place in Pottstown, Pennsylvania's dilapidated Chicken Hill neighborhood, where African Americans and Jewish immigrants coexist and work side by side. The book tells the story of the people who live in Chicken Hill, how they make ends meet despite being marginalized by the larger white population, and how the country is changing quickly, as witnessed by those who were formerly enslaved and others who have recently arrived.

The author's prose style is elegant, and his development of individual characters is exceptional, providing a realism for his story that few novelists attain. I enjoyed this novel as much as his wonderful Good Lord Bird, and I look forward to more novels from James McBride. ( )
  jwhenderson | Apr 18, 2024 |
An amazingly uninvolving book. You don’t care who comes out on top. The KKK, the Jews, the Blacks, the Whites, doesn’t matter, your only wish is to get to the last page. ( )
  SulfurDog | Apr 16, 2024 |
Summary: A story centered around a grocery store in the midst of Pottstown’s Chicken Hill district, inhabited by immigrant Jews and the local Black community.

In 1972, a body is found at the bottom of a well, but swept away by Hurricane Agnes. In one sense the rest of this novel answers the question of how that body got there (and so I won’t). But this is a rich story about so much more, that all centers around a Jewish grocery, The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store. Jewish immigrants with a daughter Chona owned the store. She married a struggling theatre owner, Moshe Ludlow. Eventually Moshe figured out that the money was in Black acts, that the Black residents of Chicken Hill as well as surrounding areas would attend.

Chicken Hill was where those living on the margins, trying to get a toehold, lived–Blacks, immigrant Jews, and later, Latinos. Moshe and Chona lived above the store. While his theatres profited, the store lost money, mostly because Chona was generous with extending credit and slow to ask repayment. As more Jews moved away, Moshe wanted to join them but Chona refused. Today, we would call her a community activist. She was greatly loved, whether by the Jewish immigrants or Black residents, many of whom McBride introduces us.

Nate Timblin worked for Moshe, doing repairs. He had a dark past, according to rumors, but Moshe knows nothing of this. So when he asks Moshe and Chona to help a bright child deafened by a stove explosion to hide from white authorities who want to institutionalize him at Pennhurst, they agree. Dodo quickly becomes beloved by Chona, and a great help as she was weakened by periods of illness. This was not a child who needed institutionalization. They succeed until the town’s white doctor visits the store. Dodo defends her against an assault by the doctor, who flees only to return with the police, who take Dodo to Pennhurst, which is as horrible as all the rumors.

Nate and Addie, the woman he has been seeing, figure out what happened to Chona. And an amazing thing happens. Two communities touched by this evil act come together to rescue Dodo, honor Chona, and to get back at the city councilman, Gus Plitzka, who controls their water supply. And this underscores the larger context of this story. Pottstown is controlled by its white establishment. In these incidents, two ethnic communities, each in many ways self-contained, except by the generosity of Chona, come together to shrewdly resist the white establishment in plots with many moving parts. As kind of a dark counterpart to Chona, Nate chooses to risk all to deliver Dodo from the horrors of Pennhurst.

It’s not hard to see why this book has won numerous recognitions. McBride paints a rich portrait of these two communities that stand against white power and venality. We see two communities galvanized by attacks on an innocent boy and a generous and righteous woman. But all this was sown through years of care and generosity where heaven and earth met at a grocery store. ( )
  BobonBooks | Apr 15, 2024 |
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There was an old Jew who lived at the site of the old synagogue up on Chicken Hill in the town of Pottstown, Pa., and when Pennsylvania State Troopers found the skeleton at the bottom of an old well off Hayes Street, the old Jew's house was the first place they went to.
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The old man shrugged. Jewish life is portable, he said. (p. 3)
The Negroes of Chicken Hill loved Chona. They saw her not as a neighbor but as an artery to freedom, for the recollection of Chona's telltale limp as she and her childhood friend, a tall, gorgeous, silent soul named Bernice Davis, walked down the pitted mud roads of the Hill to school each morning was stamped in their collective memory. It was proof of the American possibility of equality: we all can get along no matter what, look at those two. (p. 31)
She felt the prayer more than heard it; it started from somewhere deep down and fluttered toward her head like tiny flecks of light, tiny beacons moving like a school of fish, continually swimming away from a darkness that threatened to swallow them (p. 218)
They moved slowly like fusgeyers, wanderers seeking a home in Europe, or eru West African tribesmen herded off a ship on a Virginia shore to peer back across the Atlantic in the direction of their homeland one last time, moving toward a common destiny, all of them - Isaac, Nate, and the rest - into a future of American nothing. (p. 225)
Chona wasn't one of them. She was the one among them who ruined his hate for them, and for that he resented her. (p. 237)
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"In 1972, when workers in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, were digging the foundations for a new development, the last thing they expected to find was a skeleton at the bottom of a well. Who the skeleton was and how it got there were two of the long-held secrets kept by the residents of Chicken Hill, the dilapidated neighborhood where immigrant Jews and African Americans lived side by side and shared ambitions and sorrows. Chicken Hill was where Moshe and Chona Ludlow lived when Moshe integrated his theater and where Chona ran the Heaven & Earth Grocery Store. When the state came looking for a deaf boy to institutionalize him, it was Chona and Nate Timblin, the Black janitor at Moshe's theater and the unofficial leader of the Black community on Chicken Hill, who worked together to keep the boy safe. As these characters' stories overlap and deepen, it becomes clear how much the people who live on the margins of white, Christian America struggle and what they must do to survive. When the truth is finally revealed about what happened on Chicken Hill and the part the town's white establishment played in it, McBride shows us that even in dark times, it is love and community--heaven and earth--that sustain us."--

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