By J. Squires
The greatest compliment one can pay the author of his memoirs is: “I know those people! I really do!” While reading this novel, I feel privileged to sit at the table beside Andy (Mr. Julius Thompson) while his mama, Golda, dishes out a sumptuous ~ though modest ~ feast.
My hand is in Andy’s. My other hand is in Andy’s Step-father’s (Marvs) strong, black hand while, following his example, we bow our heads, and feel his love and his deep and unshakable faith as he leads us in grace. Mr. Julius Thompson takes us on a literary journey through the tempestuous sixties.
His main character, Andy Michael Pilgrim, has a dream ~ a dream in an environment and generation that could easily crush a less enduring black man’s dreams. With riots and death all around him, Andy persists in the pursuit of his dream. With the love of his life, Leslie, beside him, Golda’s love (leaning heavily on him, sometimes, as a mother’s love will tend to do), Marvs’ guidance and love giving him direction, and a whole wacky cast of lovable characters ~ his extended family ~ urging him on, Andy moves relentlessly forward, overcoming towering obstacles, until his dream is realized…
Yes, I know those people. I love those people. And, thanks to Julius Thompson and his book, “A Brownstone In Brooklyn,” you’ll find youself knowing and loving them, too.
By The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
A Brownstone in Brooklyn chronicles a short but critical portion of the life of Andy Michael Pilgrim. Andy has grown up in a Brownstone on Gates Avenue in Brooklyn and all of its residents have contributed to his upbringing. However, this book takes place during a turbulent time in American history. The civil rights movement seems to be taking a more violent turn, and young men across the nation are being drafted to fight in the Vietnam War…
The lively cast of characters keep this novel fresh and entertaining while the plot keeps you on the edge of your seat. Thompson does a wonderful job highlighting how people’s lives are influenced by the types of choices they make. He also highlights how much one person’s actions can impact the lives of others in meaningful ways. The book started out a little slow, but gradually picked up momentum. I would have liked a bit more character development for Andy’s character earlier in the book. In the early parts of the book I felt like I was reading about his day to day life without enough background to really care about his character, but by the end I felt like I knew him well. A Brownstone in Brooklyn is an enjoyable read that truly demonstrates that it takes a village to raise a child.
A Sentimental History Lesson
By Amazon Customer
In “A Brownstone In Brooklyn,” Mr. Julius Thompson paints a picture of life in Brooklyn during the turbulent 60’s. It’s the story of how good people can be oppressed and held down for so long that they must resort to “any means necessary” to overcome, and how one’s family is not always defined by a blood line. It’s also the story of how one such extended family bands together to raise an extraordinary young man, our main character, Andy Michael Pilgrim. Mr. Thompson shows us what life was like for a young man during the Vietnam War as the Civil Rights Movement took a sudden violent turn after the death of Dr. King, and how many young men, without the love given to Andy by his extended family, didn’t make it. This is an excellent story, and an excellent lesson, that I highly recommend for readers of all ages.