Catch Us If You Can A time where the explosion of Rock and Roll coincided with, and incited the nexus of youth and the interrogation of the American Dream, Marc Feinstein’s new novel is steeped in the rich culture and in the dynamic of America in the late 1960’s.
Catch Us If You Can is the coming-of-age story of Gene Gennaro and a tale of urban youth growing up in the small town of Oldbrook New Jersey.
It’s 1967, and in Oldbrook, basketball is a religion and making the high school team is a confirmation. Sailing through his freshman year, Gene is blown along by the steady prevailing innocent winds of the time—sports, girls, and Rock & Roll. After tragedy thrusts him into a new world forever rocked by one fateful day, he begins his journey through the berserk time of the Summer of Love. For Gene, that summer and the next three years are a time of healing, buoyed by The Beatles, basketball and most importantly his friends. His ride through the next three frenetic years of high school are a lifeline as unbreakable as the fidelity of his friendships with five of his basketball teammates; and most of all, his best friend Reuben. But that lifeline at times turns into a rope for a tug-of-war between fate and will, and Gene and Rueben must battle life’s tussles together; sometimes testing their classically loyal friendship along the way.
Will Gene become a product of his time and circumstances or will he untangle the answer to life’s scrimmages?
I’ve stared into the emptiness of my mother’s eyes and saw the fullness of her heart.
My life was frozen by the winter rain and warmed by the summer’s start.
Deep in my bones a chill so cold, a heart that felt like stone
A hidden sorrow concealed my fear, I felt so all alone.
They say with time all wounds do heal, but the loss does never leave
We soothe the pain, and in our own way, we learn to live—not grieve.
My friends and family and whoever watches from way up high above
Taught me as John Lennon sang, All you need is love.
That was a poem I wrote for 11th grade English class, in 1968, the fall of my junior year, only eighteen months removed from the unnerving tragedy. As I look back on it all, I can’t say the years have made me any wiser. I cry as I read this, amazed at the insight of a hurt young boy prematurely thrust into manhood, but gratified at the apparent swiftness of my recovering. I can see that I was at least making some headway toward dealing with things that even now, a lifetime later, I still don’t fully understand and about which on reflection it seems like it took so much longer before I was on the mend.
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Available at BookDepository | Alibris