All Souls Book Review Essay

Words: 979
Pages: 4

All Souls: A Family Story From Southie

By Micheal Patrick MacDonald. (Ballentine Books under The Random House Publishing Corporation, 1999, 266pp. $14.00)

Michael Patrick MacDonald saw hatred animated on a Friday in the early days of October. Some people were reading the newspaper in brightly lit kitchens. Some children were coloring with brightly hued crayons. Some fathers were getting into cars in front of their beautiful homes. But there were no crayons, bright kitchens, or fathers in nice cars on Dorchester Street in Southie that day. Only the cruelest manifestation of blind hatred. Michael Patrick MacDonald was an innocent child when he stood only feet away from a black man who was having the life literally beaten from his
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Easy to pretend that they aren't there. MacDonald not so gently reminds us. He tells us a heart wrenching tale that's hard to read, but even harder to walk away from.

Just as there are thirty one sides to every story, there surely are at least half a dozen renditions of the events that transpired in South Boston in the 1970's. The Boston Globe might tell it differently than say, Mary MacDonald. Michael might have a different take on a day in the life of Southie than Davey, who obviously saw Southie in a light that was much dimmer. It was only after his death, when Michael ventured up to the rooftop and found the bloody shattered glass, covered with Davey's despair, that he learned another side of his brother's story. We all have a story to tell, memories to keep, secrets to bring to the light of day. Michael Patrick MacDonald wants to share with us his Southie. Right or wrong, biased or objective, it was his life. He lived it, he survived it, and he has decided to recapture it for the greater good of all of the residents of every Old Colony Project, for all of the Davey's and the Ma MacDonalds, for every kid who cries at night about things a kid should never cry about. Fiction is subject to criticism of a structured sort. But this is someone's life. Balanced or not, this is what happened. Conclusions don't change the outcome. Full coverage of the subject won't bring Frankie back. Formulaic critiques won't change the fact that Moe Duggan stabbed