Thursday 28 September 2017

The Given Day by Dennis Lehane

The Given DayThe Given Day by Dennis Lehane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2.5 days

Pages - 734

Publisher - Black Swan

Source - Amazon

Blurb from Goodreads

1918. Boston. A city in turmoil as soldiers return home from World War One, bringing with them an epidemic of Spanish influenza.

Danny Coughlin is the son of one of Boston's most powerful police captains. An undercover cop, he is hunting for revolutionaries and anarchists who, in the aftermath of war, are pledged to overthrow the city's ruling classes. But Danny soon finds his ideals compromised as, drawn into the conflict, his family starts to question where his loyalties really lie.

Luther Lawrence is on the run. Having survived a murderous confrontation with a crime boss, he lands a job in the Coughlin household. But it isn't long before his dangerous past and his tenuous present are on a life-threatening collision course.

As the city goes into meltdown, Danny and Luther must confront the storm of violence that threatens to engulf them if each is to survive...

My Review

The book is split into three main characters timelines and points of view, well two main ones Luther Lawrence, Danny Coughlin and Babe Ruth gets a few chapters (yes the Babe Ruth!). Set in 1918-1919 in Boston we cover a few periods of time with big history. The Influenza epidemic, the Boston police strike and civial unrest and not forgetting the time period where racism is strong. Luther is a black gentleman trying to make a living in conditions where he is treated horrifically because of the colour of his skin. Danny is a white Irishman, police officer who has his own struggles at the time, the police aren't valued and have terrible working conditions. The two males have different problems and we see how they tackle them having very different opportunities and trying to survive a horrible time period. The book is historically correct, from what I have heard as history is not one of my strong points. I aim to read more about on the political unrest, the riots, the influenza that killed so many. The racism is ugly, heartbreaking and at times makes you very ashamed to be a human being. Whilst the book is fiction it portrays many true events and mirrors the attitudes of society at a time when poverty and race was rampant.

My workie David had been telling me about this book last year when we started working together, it is his favourite book of all time. It took me ages to get to it and I wish I had picked it up earlier, I love a book where you learn something. I read so much fiction and really need to learn more about the world we live in, we have such a dark history with the worst and best of humanity documented.

Baseball is not something I have ever been interested in however I would like to read more about Babe Ruth. I don't think the book would have lost anything had his parts not been in the book but it was interesting and I would like to read more on his history is not the actual team.

It took me a wee bit to settle into the book, it is a huge read and we flip between the three characters with very stark differences. Once you get into it it makes for riveting reading however be prepared going in to this to read some horrible aspects of human behaviour and complete disregard for human life. From what I can see this is the first book in a trilogy, I will certainly be getting the next one to see what is next in store for our characters, 4/5 for me this time.

View all my reviews

1 comment:

  1. The time period and premise of this book sound so interesting. War veterans returning and the 1918 Flu epidemic were not just important historical events, they have great potential for great fiction. The depiction of racism in the book sounds disturbing but sadly realistic.

    Baseball is the only sport that I have ever really liked so this sounds very appealing to be.

    Great commentary on this book Lainy.


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