The Street Sweeper by Elliot Perlman
I am a huge fan of Elliot Perlman’s work. I have read all his work to date. The Street Sweeper was worth the 8 year wait. This book, like all of Perlman’s books, starts out a little slow. This is only because he intricately weaves stories and lives together like a masterful story teller…interlocking fates and personal experiences in the most minute of ways. His attention to detail is a gift that keeps me wanting to find each next little clue. He spends a lot of time developing characters, letting us lurk about in their thoughts and each page helping us grow to feel closer with each and every one of them.
The protagonists in The Street Sweeper, Lamont Williams and Adam Zignelik, have nothing at all in common on the surface. They are from very different backgrounds, living very different lives but life is still full of connections we may never see and in the end we all have more in common than we seem to think. This is the story of two men and the stories of those they encounter, both dead and alive, entangled into a fantastic book worth reading. Adam is a flailing historian. Lamont, a struggling ex-con in search of his long lost daughter. Both men have an uphill battle towards fulfillment and both find themselves treading through the difficult memories of the Holocaust to get to wherever they are going.
This is a story of lives interconnecting in the simplest, rawest of ways, through stories, through happenstance, through love, through history, through family, through friends, through employment. This is a message of listening, of remembering and of telling the stories of those who came before us and maybe even leaving a story worth telling for those we leave behind.
This book was part of my reading challenges —