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Set in Boston at the end of the First World War, New York Times bestselling author Dennis Lehane’s long-awaited eighth novel unflinchingly captures the political and social unrest of a nation caught at the crossroads between past and future. Filled with a cast of unforgettable characters more richly drawn than any Lehane has ever created, The Given Day tells the story of two families--one black, one white--swept up in a maelstrom of revolutionaries and anarchists, immigrants and ward bosses, Brahmins and ordinary citizens, all engaged in a battle for survival and power. Beat cop Danny Coughlin, the son of one of the city’s most beloved and powerful police captains, joins a burgeoning union movement and the hunt for violent radicals. Luther Laurence, on the run after a deadly confrontation with a crime boss in Tulsa, works for the Coughlin family and tries desperately to find his way home to his pregnant wife.
Here, too, are some of the most influential figures of the era--Babe Ruth; Eugene O’Neill; leftist activist Jack Reed; NAACP founder W. E. B. DuBois; Mitchell Palmer, Woodrow Wilson’s ruthless Red-chasing attorney general; cunning Massachusetts governor Calvin Coolidge; and an ambitious young Department of Justice lawyer named John Hoover.
Coursing through some of the pivotal events of the time--including the Spanish Influenza pandemic--and culminating in the Boston Police Strike of 1919, The Given Day explores the crippling violence and irrepressible exuberance of a country at war with, and in the thrall of, itself. As Danny, Luther, and those around them struggle to define themselves in increasingly turbulent times, they gradually find family in one another and, together, ride a rising storm of hardship, deprivation, and hope that will change all their lives.
“[An] engrossing epic. . . . A vision of redemption and a triumph of the human spirit.”
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
About the Author
Dennis Lehane is the author of seven novels. These include the New York Times bestsellers Gone, Baby, Gone; Mystic River; and Shutter Island, as well as Coronado, a collection of short stories and a play. He and his wife, Angie, divide their time between Boston and the Gulf Coast of Florida.
Images from The Given Day
The Boston Molasses Disaster
The Boston Molasses Disaster, also known as the Great Molasses Flood, occurred on January 15, 1919, in the North End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. A large molasses tank burst and a wave of molasses rushed through the streets at an estimated 35 mph, killing 21 and injuring 150. The event has entered local folklore, and residents claim that on hot summer days the areas still smells of molasses. (From Wikipedia).
Headline from the Boston Post, September 9, 1919
Rioters clash with National Guardsmen called in by Massachusetts Governor Calvin Coolidge during a strike by Boston police officers.
"I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck."
City officials in Boston were caught off guard when three civilians dropped dead of influenza in early September 1918. As September 1918 drew to a close, Boston had lost more than 1,000 citizens to the silent, relentless killer. The deadly influenza now posed a threat to the entire nation, and the world at large.
John Calvin Coolidge (1872 - 1933) was a Republican lawyer from Vermont who worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, eventually becoming governor. His actions during the Boston Police Strike of 1919 thrust him into the national spotlight; he became the 30th President of the United States (1923 - 1929).
The Boston Molasses Disaster
The headline from the Boston Post, September 9, 1919
Excellent characters, strong story, and you could feel the time period like you were there.
Lehane uses the language well and creates compelling characters that come to life whether fictional or historical.
The Given Day is over 700 pages of reading pleasure and a book that I most highly recommend to you.
I will now learn more about the Boston Police strike. Dennis Lehane can write. This is the best of 6 or so books of his I have read. There will be more.Published 2 hours ago by Wendell H Howell
One of the best novels I've read in a long time. Great historical references and information and a great written book.Published 3 hours ago by Unc Alf
Such an important book to read - especially in these troubled times. The parallels are so evident and the mistakes of the ruling class repeated over and over. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Magia76
Using the babe as a foil was good idea thugh misleading..
The tenor of the given day was the emergence of them working class / unions and the early Irish in Boston... Good.. Read more
This was my first Lehane book - I immediately downloaded the next one in the series. I couldn't stop reading.Published 4 days ago by Marsha G. Kocurek
I'm a big fan of Dennis Lehane and this book did not disappoint. I'm not from Boston but after reading his books, everytime I visit the city I fell like a local. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Billy Notts
Dennis Lehane is an amazing author, and this just might be his best book yet. I made the mistake of reading Live By Night first (which is the sequel to The Given Day), but that did... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Amazon Customer