Title: Button Man
Author: Andrew Gross
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publish Date: September 18, 2018
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Morris, Sol, and Harry Rabinowitz grew up poor but happy in a tiny flat on the Lower East Side, until the death of their father thrust them into having to fend for themselves and support their large family. Morris apprenticed himself at twelve years old to a garment cutter in a clothing factory; Sol headed to college and became an accountant; and Harry, the youngest, fell in with a gang as a teenager and can’t escape. Morris steadily climbs through the ranks at the factory until he’s running the place and buys out the owner, and Sol comes to work with him. But Harry can’t be lured away from the glamour, the power, and the money that comes from working for mobster Louis Buchalter, an old bully from the neighborhood. And when Louis sets his sights on the unions that staff the garment makers’ factories, a fatal showdown is inevitable, and puts brother against brother."
My Two Cents:
"Button Man" is the story of three brothers growing up in New York City. They will go in three different directions: Morris seeks a career in the garment industry, Sol will eventually join him, and Harry will be thrown into a direction that will put his life in danger. It's the early 20th century in NYC and the mob is king. Morris and Sol will fight to get Harry out from the mob's clutches.
I love family sagas and this one is a great one. The three brothers are very different from each other but the importance of family has been instilled in them since they were very young. After losing their father, all three brothers deal with the fallout in very different ways. I liked seeing their personalities shine through as they grapple with trying to carve out a life for themselves and their family when things are terribly difficult.
The writing of the book was good. There were a few places that I felt the book could have been streamlined but overall, the book is nicely paced.
The setting is fantastic and the historical detail that the author uses really worked for me. New York City is one of my favorite cities and I loved seeing this side of it. I had no idea about the origins of the unions that still to this very day wield a lot of power over this city. I loved how the author was able to weave in so much detail without bashing the reader over the head with it (always tricky for authors). There's a fine line there and Gross is on the right side of it!
I really enjoyed this book for the family story and the detail! This was a good historical fiction that almost feels like a thriller in some places (it's no wonder - Gross's other books have mostly been thrillers). This was a good read!