The Lonlly Was of William Pinto by Diana Huss Green

The Lonlly Was of William Pinto

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Will's Way is the direction of every young man testing his strengths, determining his beliefs, accustoming himself to individuality. He feels closest to an aging teacher who opposes the rebellion against Britain (because innocent people may get hurt), then sees the man humiliated and intimidated by rebels and scorned by most of the townspeople. Except the Brookleys. Friend Jonathan and his sister Elizabeth look after the old man, but when Will refuses to divulge the doings of his anti-Royalist father and brothers Abe and Sol, Elizabeth reveals an ugly anti-Semitism. That leaves him ideologically alone until a visit to the rest of the family in Newport offers a first glimpse of a Jewish community--and cousin Rebecca. The author manipulates the separate strands of story with commendable dexterity: the taunting classmates at Yale, the struggle with brothers at home, his uncertainties and his determination. When Will announces his acceptance of a schoolmastership at Groton instead of volunteering for the army, his father rages ""Share my fight or leave my house,"" then goes into mourning--invoking Absalom, reciting the Kaddish, in a scene delivered without excessive dramatization. Will discovers the limitations of neutrality when his brother's life is endangered, but more important than the rescue and reconciliation is the maturation process of the young man's moral apparatus. An unusual, multi-faceted situation, and unusually mature for preteens.

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 1968
Publisher: Little, Brown--A.M.P.