If chicken soup is balm for the soul, then James McBride’s eighth book, set in 1930s Chicken Hill, a neighbourhood in a small town in Pennsylvania that is home to Jewish, black and other immigrant people, is its literary equivalent. There is something nourishing about The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store, a warm story about the power of community in the face of prejudice that both salutes the American dream while exposing it as a sham.
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