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Title Eddie and the Horses/Swoosieque
Publication: Homegrown Press, 2013, 467p.
He was but one of the “greatest generation,” a decorated soldier who proudly served his country as a first-generation son. His years of service reached beyond the military as he worked the steel mills of Chicago until retirement but, after the death of his fiancé what he did with his off-time will intrigue you.
Not just another of the many books written about the men who volunteered to go to war during WWII, the author begins with Eddie’s meager beginning in life as the first son to Polish immigrants. One can nearly smell the stench of Chicago stockyards as the writer walks you through Eddie’s neighborhood and beyond. You will sympathize with his mother who lives her life as most European women of those days did – mere chattel.
You will follow Eddie through the years, and learn of the one woman he might have married had she not died in a freak accident at Navy Pier. Eddie’s fortuitous introduction to thoroughbred horse racing rekindles his will to live, warming your heart.
I loved this book! I loved how comfortable I felt with each character, it was as though I just had coffee and cake with them. This is a “feel good” story and although there is mention of WWII, it is not a war story. It is one story of any first-generation immigrant child, and how living the traditions of the parents at home, conflicts with learning how to survive in a new world with new expectations.
You will be with Eddie as he grows into manhood, falls in love, fights for his country, and returns to a shattered world at home. Dreams forsaken, Eddie finds direction and hope from a most unlikely character who befriends him at the local Tavern.
You will not soon forget Eddie nor any of the people in his life after reading this book. Mostly, you will feel like you are saying ‘good-bye’ to a good friend when the book ends. Don’t miss this one!