by James McBride
Reviewed by Linda:One of the New York Times’s 10 best books of 2020, and most recently, a Carnegie Medal Winner, this novel furthers the author’s outstanding literary reputation. In 1969, the unlikely hero, a cranky, often tipsy widower and church deacon known to his neighbors at a housing project in South Brooklyn as Sportcoat, causes a furor when he commits a crime that he cannot remember afterwards, bringing unwelcome attention from the local drug dealers, organized crime, and the police to the community. Everyone expects Sportcoat to pay the ultimate price for his misdeed, but in this comic farce, fate keeps coming to his rescue. The wonderful characters who attend Five Ends Baptist church along with the deacon, or reside alongside him, capture your heart as does honest and well-intentioned Sportcoat.