The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store - Unbelievably Excellent!
James McBride's: The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store - is one of the best, if not the best novel that I've ever read!
From the first line:
There was an old Jew who lived at the site of the old synagogue up on Chicken Hill in the town of Pottstown, Pa., ...
James McBride took over my head (in trying to understand what really was going on) and my heart with this book. The book rushed at me and took me over in some ways. It was very humorous, while having a deep, deep serious side to it. It took me time to really get a grasp of at least part of what was the meaning of what was going on.
The book is in a sense very simple, while it has layers and layers of complexity to it. It is an easy read! It is simply amazing!
The book's heart deals with Racism, as well as Anti-Semitism and Classism. It digs deeply into the depths of Connection, sharply contrasted with the pettiness and intolerance of others.
Primary characters include: Moshe and his wife Chona, a white, Jewish couple. They contrast with Dodo, a twelve year old Black young man. Dodo lost his hearing prior to the beginning of the 1936 based story. He "takes over" much of the story and is a huge, huge part of the book.
There are numerous other characters, mostly complementing the aforementioned ones, greatly expanding the depth of the book. The story gets deeply into "Jewishness" - the diversity of the culture, as well as many sides of "Blackness".
I'm deliberately avoiding describing the core plot of this book! It is significant and important.
For anyone wishing to readily know more about this book, here is a link to a variety of reviews:
This is an incredible, incredible book!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In closing, I want to say that at the end of the book is something directly relevant to a high school classmate of mine, who I care about.
While I'd never say that any book is for "everyone", this comes very, very, very close!