The Patch Boys

Jay Parini, Author Henry Holt & Company $0 (218p) ISBN 978-0-8050-0047-4
This appealing coming-of-age novel takes place in a Pennsylvania mining town during the summer of 1925. Sammy di Cantini, 15 and very bright, lives with his family in a lower-class neighborhood called ""the patch.'' With his friend Will, he spends the summer swimming, talking baseball and pondering his future and his sexuality. The latter seems destined to work itself out, but the former is an ongoing problem. With his father dead in a mining accident and his crippled grandfather a constant reminder of what awaits the men who work in the mines, Sammy is determined to avoid that life. He wants to be rich, and without much idea of what a lawyer does, he dreams of a legal career. It is only when his older brother is killed in a labor dispute that Sammy takes a hard look at reality and begins to think that maybe his only way out of the mines is the priesthood. Parini, a poet and the author of another novel, The Love Run, beautifully captures Sammy's authentic, self-involved young voice. (October 22)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Paperback - 978-0-8050-0770-1
Hardcover - 333 pages - 978-1-55504-298-1
Hardcover - 333 pages - 978-1-55504-458-9
Open Ebook - 210 pages - 978-1-941088-50-0
Ebook - 68 pages - 978-1-4976-5441-9
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