An Unfinished Season by Ward Just


I am new to Ward Just — somehow I had not heard of him until the last
year or so — and now I have lots to look forward to. An Unfinished
Season is the story of the pivotal summer for a privileged young man
before he enters college, set in Chicago in the 1950s. His life that
summer involves a pleasing mix of worlds — the deb balls of North
Shore fine families, his visits to hear jazz greats in a club north of
Chicago, his summer job at a disreputable newspaper, and the trial of a
strike at his father’s plant. The satisfying plot involves his first
love and her unorthodox family, although the meat of the book is the
dip into the various worlds of Chicago in that time. One wonderful note
the author hits is the father — at once a 50s sort of guy and a
sensitive loving father. I shall not soon forget the story of him
watching from his room his father skating on the pond, hitting hockey
pucks into the goal in the dark evenings after work, taking a victory
lap when he finished. Great images, so wonderfully imagined, you must
ask where it came from.

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