The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store

James McBride 2023
Read: 2023

I found this book when I was surfing the net and looking for a new fiction book to read. I was not disappionted. James McBride writes a mystery/love story/tale of America focusing on a “Chicken Hill,” a community on the outskirts of a small Pennsylvania town. The book features disenfranchised blacks and Jewish immigrants, their collaborations, and their independent lives. Like all good mysteries, the pieces begin to fit together as the book progresses, and it all makes sense at the end. Look all good tales, it made me think about so many different issues.

I am enjoying the concept of adding more contemplation time into my life, and this book certainly allowed for that.

One of my favorite quotes in the book focuses on whether a Jewish family should be moving off of Chicken Hill into the more highly regarded town.  The husband pushes for it, saying , “Down the hill is America!” But the wife refuses, saying “America is here.” So many of our versions of America are sheltered from the multi-cultural complexities that the characters face, and the argument about where to live, among many other situations, should give the reader pause about where we stand in our own lives.

I highly recommend it, and you can purchase it here.

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