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Celebrated retired professor Samuel Zelinsky reluctantly leaves New Hampshire after his wife's death to visit a farm in the Kentucky hills where he lived as a child. The son of sharecroppers, Samuel has long since left that life behind—yet now he must reconnect with long-buried memories to fulfill a childhood promise to a friend.
In 1945, Sam and his best friend, Fred Mulligan, visit the Blue Hole, a legendary pool on the Kentucky River where the hill people believe an evil force lurks. Along with a couple of neighbor boys, they discover the body of a dog, surrounded by twisted human footprints—and a cave that offers further evidence that something terrible has transpired. Fearing they'll be punished for their trespasses, the boys initiate a series of cover-ups and lies that eventually leads to a community disaster.
When the Zelinskys move, Fred and Samuel promise each other that if either calls, the other will come to his aid. But Samuel's failure to keep his promise has lasting consequences he could never have predicted. Now, decades later, he confronts his failures and attempts to redeem himself, finally achieving peace through his late return to Canaan land.
Sam Halpern is the legendary father of Justin Halpern, author of the phenomenal #1 New York Times bestseller Sh*t My Dad Says. A professor of nuclear medicine, he lives in southern California.
It explores the meaning of friendship between a Jewish boy and his neighbors as he grows up as a sharecropper's son in rural Kentucky. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Jane Mitchell
I read this because of Justin Halpern's books but enjoyed it on it's own merits. The landscape and community of rural Kentucky came to life in the past and present, to my great... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Denis A Lee
I thought that Sam Hallpern was extremely talented and I am going to read other books that he has written. This story shows how important childhood friendships are in our lives.Published 8 months ago by Carolyn Jacobs
This book arrived in wonderful condition and before I expected it. I haven't started reading it yet. I plan to make it my read-this-on-the-deck-on-a-warm-summer-day kind of read!Published 9 months ago by Marcie Frazee
Carried these folks with me ...seemed like I was inside the book with them.. Should be required reading for high school ...life lessons without the lectures.Published 10 months ago by Joan Decesere
This was a fine read. The characters were loveable and I cried at the end. The descriptions of growing up as a shareholders son were vivid and spoke of experience. Read morePublished 10 months ago by melpaco
What more can I say? If you have a bit of country in you, you'll love it too.
The characters are so real, they make you laugh, make you cry. Read more
Although I usually don't read fiction, I saw the article on Sam in the San Diego newspaper and am a big fan of Justin's books. Read morePublished 11 months ago by R. Bradley
I enjoyed reading this coming-of-age book, A Far Piece to Canaan. The book contained all of the components that I would expect from a good book. The plot was engaging. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Ruth Frechman