The Fire Escape Belongs in Brooklyn by Chuck Cascio

This National Indie Excellence Award Finalist is a story of love, loss, hope, and the haunting need to resolve the mysterious disappearance of a loved one…and of youth itself.

Born one minute apart in the same Brooklyn hospital, Mike Burns and Salvatore “Sally-Boy” Boccanera grow up thinking they will always have one another and the gritty fire escape where they play, fight, plot, and try to make sense of life. But then, one cousin goes to college…and the other vanishes.

In the tumultuous year of 1968 the world falls apart around Mike, a college sophomore. Sally-Boy disappeared two years ago and Mike relentlessly thinks about him, sometimes even talking out loud to him. Mike tries hard to lead a “typical college life” filled with parties and an occasional class, but a radical professor stimulates Mike’s activism; he fights with his Secret Service agent father over politics and hair length; a friend’s draft dodge involves Mike in a crime; the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy drive Mike into action; and the girl Mike is falling in love with hides secrets of her own.

Questions of morality, conscience, obligation, and expectation tear at Mike and disrupt his life. But there is one thing he knows for sure: It may take years, but he will find Sally-Boy. After all, a fire escape is made to save lives, isn’t it?


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