4 out of 4 stars
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Division is a novel by Patrick Creevy that takes a hard look at race relations, gang violence, abortion, murder and infidelity. The characters created by the author are flawed and realistic. Mr. Creevy is a gifted writer who grew up in Chicago and the city of Chicago becomes a character itself in the book with its dark alleys and doorways. The author’s descriptions of the city and the streets are vivid and add to the story.
The story begins with two gang members, Watts and Tumbler, walking down the street when they run into Tumbler’s cousin, Robert Teague. The three young men decide to go see a girl that Watts knows. Along the way Watts decides to steal a car, a decision that ends in murder. The victim is a young white man and his death leads to an in-depth look at race and violence through the eyes of characters with very different backgrounds and perspectives.
Connor Riordan is the brother of the victim and an eye witness to the crime. He suffers from grief and guilt and begins drinking to ease the pain. He tries to come to terms with the loss that he has suffered, but also wants to understand why it happened. He takes a closer look at the men involved in the incident when his brother was killed, and we learn more about their lives and their families.
Division is the title of the book. The word has multiple meanings. Division Street in Chicago physically separates the city and the rival gangs that dwell there. It can also refer to the division between the wealthier areas of the city and the impoverished areas like Cabrini Green. The racial division between the African-American community and the white community is also prominent in the book. There are also divisions within a family where differences of opinion, grief, lies and betrayals separate family members. There are many different levels and perspectives presented in this book.
I really enjoyed reading this book. Each character was complex and multi-dimensional. The dialogue between the characters was fascinating because each character has such a different perspective on the issues. The character of Watts is a gang leader that is dangerous and violent. He also has a heart-breaking back story. In addition, he has a grandmother and a girl that love him and care what happens to him. Many of the issues covered in the book are relatable to most readers. For example, grief is discussed in heart-breaking detail. Some characters can come together and bond over their grief while others grow more distant. The discussions between the characters are thoughtful and philosophical.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys novels about relationships between families and different communities. Race relations and crime are main topics of the book. I give the book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. The book was extremely well-edited. I only saw one error in the book. I would not recommend this book to younger readers due to the subject matter and profanity, but I would highly recommend it as a well-written and fascinating book that I found difficult to put down.
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