In The Grace of the Gingko, author Michael R. Hardesty gives us an all-too-human protagonist in David Foley. Post-divorced, David raises his boy alone. When his son is killed during the Gulf War, he moves to Louisville, Kentucky to be near his only remaining family, his pregnant daughter-in-law. When she dies during childbirth, David finds himself guardian of a newborn. Like many grandparents today, he becomes a parent for the second time and raises his now-orphaned granddaughter. Frequently David juggles the responsibilities of parenting better than he handles his aging body and his social and sexual needs. Somehow he surrounds himself with an all-star cast of friends and family for support.
This is a poignant, moving narrative about beating one’s past, understanding one’s present, and confronting one’s place in the universe. Hardesty guides the reader with a deft hand through Foley’s raging internal battles waged between his coarseness and his urbanity, his temper and his equanimity, his Catholic upbringing and his professed atheism. Definitely a five-star read.
Michael R. Hardesty