A retired teacher remembers her parents, particularly her father, in this memoir of a Depression-era Bronx childhood. Recalling incidents great and small in sharp detail, from her tenth birthday party to births and deaths, as well as the growth of her Jewish identity, the author takes readers on a tour past shops and houses, neighbors and relatives, returning repeatedly to two themes: the Depression's debilitating effect on the pride of men who could no longer support their families, and the contrast between her father, a dreamer, and her mother, a worrier. As her father was a small-time bootlegger, her mother had reason to worry, but not all her hand-wringing--nor two police raids--kept him down for long. Sonnenfeld is fond of generalizations, frequently falls into passive voice, and breaks the boundaries of childhood with adult, often sentimental, observations. Her story doesn't read like a novel, but as a coherent reminiscence, with a varied, colorful cast of characters and a compelling sense of what it was like to live in those now-distant hard times.