American Family invokes a time when New York real estate development was controlled by arbitrary power-politics and prejudice, and when Congressional investigations into Communist influence in American institutions cast shadows of fear and suspicion over day-to-day life.
Robert Crooke summons a rich cast of characters onto this stage, and though they voice a variety of political convictions, this novelist is suspicious of extremes in ideology. It's more the human heart that interests him. And through the observant eyes of his flawed narrator, reminiscent of Holden Caulfield and Huck Finn, he takes an unforgettable journey into the moral truth of America's past--and present. It is an extraordinary reading experience in fiction.
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What People are Saying About This
"Robert Crooke's first novel is a murder mystery steeped in the fears and prejudices of a particularly ugly period in US history. American Family centers on 17-year-old Tom Gannon, the son of an attorney ruined by false rumors of ties to the Communist Party. The Gannon family suffers from the resulting "blacklisting" and the author's obvious insider-knowledge of big-money real estate deals helps him explain why in an interesting way. By locating a key property development of the story in Harlem, Crooke also explores another real-life casualty of the Communist witch-hunt era-African-American civil rights."
The Litchfield County Times