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James McBride

Winner Of Libby Award For Best Adult Fiction (2023)

The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store

The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store


ISBN: 9781399620413

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The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store: A Look Back to Chicken Hill

James McBride's latest novel, The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store, takes readers on a poignant journey back to 1920s and 30s Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Here's a glimpse into what the story offers:

A Tapestry of Lives:

The story unfolds in the vibrant yet segregated neighborhood of Chicken Hill, where African American families and Jewish immigrants lived side-by-side. We meet a diverse cast of characters, including:

  • Moshe and Chona Ludlow: A Jewish couple who own the Heaven & Earth Grocery Store and a theater with a dance hall.
  • Nate Timblin: A Black resident who works for the Ludlows.
  • Dodo: A young Black boy who is deaf and needs protection from the authorities.

A Mystery Unearthed:

The discovery of a skeleton at the bottom of a well in 1972 sets the present-day narrative in motion. As the investigation unfolds, we travel back in time to explore the lives of the Chicken Hill residents and the events that might be connected to the skeleton.

Themes of Community and Resilience:

The novel delves into themes of racism, prejudice, and the struggles faced by both the Black and Jewish communities during that era. Despite the hardships, the story highlights the power of community, friendship, and resilience.

Why You Should Read The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store:

  • Rich Historical Fiction: Immerse yourself in the social and cultural climate of 1920s and 30s America.
  • Compelling Mystery: The present-day investigation adds a layer of suspense to the historical narrative.
  • Unforgettable Characters: Connect with a diverse cast of characters facing their own struggles and triumphs.
  • Themes of Hope and Connection: Discover stories of resilience, friendship, and the importance of community in overcoming adversity.

Overall, The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store is a captivating novel that explores the complexities of race, history, and the enduring power of human connection.

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