Henry ""Hank"" Toohey, a thirteen-year-old altar boy, is an incessant smart-ass with a deep love of life...and other four-letter words. But with his foul mouth comes a heart of gold, and he's going to need it to get through the last weekend of summer 1984.
Everyone up and down St. Patrick Street, Henry's claustrophobic Irish-Catholic block in Philadelphia -- with its seventy-eight row homes, seventy-eight skinny mile-high lawns, seventy-eight statues of saints, and seventy-eight Mondale-Ferraro signs -- knows that the Toohey family is falling apart. Henry's mailman father is having an affair with a neighbor lady right under his mother's nose. His big brother has been a drunken mess since his girlfriend died. And his little sister is counting on him to keep her laughing through it all. But Henry has a plan to pull the family back together: He'll propose to his chain-smoking fourteen-year-old girlfriend, Grace McClain, at a neighborhood wedding. To prepare, he and his ragtag group of friends pinball around the streets, making elaborate plans for his proposal, riding bikes, rating breasts, bothering the local merchants, talking trash about Mike Schmidt and Bob Seger, and kissing behind the seafood-store dumpster.
Gritty, giddy, and bursting with Henry's boundless energy, Green Grass Grace is a heart-thumping rocket ride back to adolescence that is riotously funny and tragic at the same time.
Richard Russo author of Empire Falls The last time I had this much fun in the company of an adolescent was when Ferris Bueller took a day off. Shawn McBride is a hoot and a half.