Reading for Me

The Books I Have Read…..Just for Me

#5: The Crazyladies of Pearl Street (Trevanian)

on March 13, 2015

As I continue reading my way through the THO-TRE shelf of the Poplar and White Station branch of the Memphis Public Library, I am happy to say that The Crazyladies of Pearl Street was a pleasure to read. I had never encountered Trevanian’s writing and can now include him among the list of modern writers that I greatly enjoy reading.

Crazyladies is narrated by Jean-Luc, a pre-teen boy living in an Albany, New York slum with his mother and sister. Set in the 1930s and 1940s, Luke learns about the world’s challenges with the innocence of youth through his interactions with the people of Pearl Street and the surrounding community. The narrator understands love (and lust) at the Catholic School. His understanding of the European crisis is shaped by conversations with the Jewish store owner on the corner and his family’s prized possession, a second-hand radio. Having been abandoned by his father throughout his early years, Luke finds himself dealing with the pressure to provide for his mother and sister while growing to resent the responsibility that he never asked for. When a young cowboy arrives in the slum, Jean-Luc hopes the man will be a new father figure that he can admire that will also provide for the struggling family. Despite hopes and promises, the young family finds themselves deserted again, struggling to make ends meet in a new location without a job.

Trevanian combines artfully developed characters with gentle humor and heart-warming drama in a wonderful tale of trial, war, and heartache and its impact on a growing boy. I look forward to exploring more of Trevanian’s novels in the future.

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