North Hill by William Zink

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“I wake to the smell of burnt oatmeal.” So begins the story of Puck Beck, wise-cracking 16-year-old and narrator of North Hill.

The Commitments meets The Catcher in the Rye – North Hill is a hilarious coming of age comedy about a very large and eccentric family living in Akron, Ohio’s Italian North Hill neighborhood during the late 1960s.

Puck feels invisible. Born into a large Catholic family, he’s a wise guy, the resident wit. But humor can’t seem to get him out of the shadows of his older brothers or make his dad appreciate him. His dad, afflicted with polio in the 1950s epidemic, runs an automotive garage but then loses everything when his business partner skips town. Puck and the boys help fend off the family’s financial ruin by doing odd jobs, until one day when the amazing Teresa Del Rosa appears. Desired by every guy on North Hill, she triggers an internal struggle in Puck, forcing him to choose between his faith and teenage desire, with nothing less than his family's fate hanging in the balance.

William Zink’s novels have been praised by Andrei Codrescu, 
BooklistThe Main Street Rag, David Giffels, Donald Ray Pollock, and many others. His novel, Ohio River Dialogues, was a finalist for the Ohioana Fiction Award.