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Author: Laurence J. Bucaria
Contemporary novel about pre-war Brooklyn
Registry #: nov008


Fletcher Flannery is a handsome, young college student growing up in a neighborhood of mixed, first generation nationalities. His second generation exposure in school and on the playgrounds begins to erode his dedication to Irish values as prompted by his mother and her circle of Irish friends. He accepts his friends at face value in spite of their being of different nationalities and even different religions. His younger brother as well seems to attract friends who are not Irish. Fletcher is the prototypical second generation American spawned by the melting pot of divergent peoples who will later form the basis for the most efficient fighting army the world has ever known. He is in every sense, a real American, proud of his ethnicity but prouder still of the principles which has made America great.

He is the target of matchmaking by his mother and her best friend. Mary is the beautiful daughter of the friend and seems a plausible mate for the young man. In a moment of passion Fletcher proposes to Mary and the idyllic arrangement is set in motion. But when Ursula, the young daughter of a German family appears on the scene, Fletcher is bowled over and realizes that his love of Mary is superficial compared with the intense feelings he develops for Ursula. In the Brooklyn of the thirties with its secularism in high gear, a marriage between Fletcher and Ursula seems impossible. Ecumenism of the Roman Catholic Church has not yet been introduced as Luther is conveniently confused with Lucifer. Aware of the impending problems, Fletcher confesses his love for Ursula but lacks the backbone to break it off with Mary until fate forces him to do so.

The background is a turbulent mixture of political forces as Communists, the German-American Bund, and extremists on both sides strive to vamp the American public to their particular mindset. The 1939 New York World's Fair is being planned and the Brooklyn Dodgers have already earned the affectionate mantle of, "them bums!". Fiorello La Guardia is mayor; Father Coughlin is busy bating Jews, Communists and Protestants in general and Franklin Delano Roosevelt is in mid-stride in his race to erase the disastrous effects of the Great Depression. Will love conquer all? Read and find out.


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