Books Magazine

Four Months in Brighton Park by Larry Ehrhorn

By Pamelascott

Set in a working class neighbourhood on Chicago's southwest side in 1965, "Four Months in Brighton Park" focuses on Kelly Elliott, the kid with two first names. Kelly is a cross between Holden Caulfield and Walter Mitty, rarely facing reality until one day when he is forced to confront the consequences of his actions, when he impulsively makes an obscene gesture at Joe Swedarsky, the school jock and bully. That initial conflict starts a cascade of humorous and affecting dominoes that change his life. Being raised by his single, hard-working mother, Kelly stumbles through misadventures - dealing with his mother's tyrannical pilot boyfriend, peer pressure, male curiosities, teachers, and friendships. Besides Ma, his guides through this journey include Little Joey, the legless owner of a local deli; best friend Jerry Hogan, Mary Harker, a troubled, mature woman; and Linda Martinsen, the quiet girl who found something likable in Kelly. The four month journey taken by Kelly provides insight, change, humour and empathy, elements of which all people are familiar.

***

[Life might not have been so bad if I hadn't had all those pimples covering my face, but I did, and so my existence was a lot rougher than most students at Talbot High in 1965] ***

(Madijean Press, 14 September 2017, ebook, 254 pages, copy from the author and voluntarily reviewed)

***

***

I really, really loved this book. I thought Kelly was a great character. I could relate to his struggles in high school. He's a well-written character and easy to empathise with. I'm a big fan of first person narratives well they're done well and the author pulls this off perfectly in Four Months in Brighton Park. Kelly's voice is great. The book is set I the 60's, before I was born and I really loved the nostalgia. I read a lot of YA fiction set in the modern world and sometimes futuristic worlds so it was a treat to spend some time in the distant past. I enjoyed every word of this book. I was hooked from start to finish. Four Months in Brighton Park is different than books I usually read and I haven't read something this well-written and engaging in ages.

Four Months in Brighton Park by Larry Ehrhorn

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