Hilary's Reviews > The Given Day

The Given Day by Dennis Lehane
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's review
Jan 22, 2011

really liked it

I like Dennis Lehane a lot and can't believe I didn't get around to reading this sooner, though I admit that bypassing it probably had something to do with its length (700 pages) given that I usually go to him for a quick read. This does go surprisingly quickly, however, and is a really interesting account of a period of Boston history about which I knew absolutely nothing: the Boston police strike of 1919. The strike itself happens fairly late in the book, after a lot of very satisfying set-up. There's a great subplot involving Babe Ruth, during the year leading up to his trade to the Yankees, which draws some nice parallels between the ballplayers and the blue-collar protagonists of the main thread. I docked the book a star only because this particular subplot disappeared for about two hundred pages, only to reappear at the very end - that sort of thing frustrates me. But I should mention that this has a lot of the same humor to it as Lehane's works set in more contemporary times - a lot of fun to read, and a lot of good local history.

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