Cover image for Younger than springtime
Younger than springtime
Greeley, Andrew M., 1928-2013.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Forge, 1999.
Physical Description:
348 pages ; 25 cm
General Note:
"A Tom Doherty Associates book."
Geographic Term:
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Father Andrew M. Greeley returns to the saga of the OMalley family with his signature blend of humor, classic North American values, and heartrending storytelling. Charles Chucky Cronin OMalley has come home to Chicago in one piece after a chaotic tour in postWWII Germany. Anxious to attend Notre Dame and get his life back in order, Chucky is quickly sidetracked by the beautiful, raven-haired, haunting (and haunted) Rosemarie, a girl as fresh-faced and clever as she is doomed. Conflicts with a mob boss and a tendency to ruffle the feathers of those in charge combine to land Chucky in even more hot water. Luckily, a quick wit and an oldfashioned sense of right and wrong (along with a dose of Heavenly help) save him when tensions reach the boiling point. Can Chucky come of age in a difficult and heady time, holding on to his integrity while discovering the secret to love? Praise for A Midwinters Tale: In this deft addition to his shelf of novels, Greeley once again shows his knack for combining solid characterizations, folksy prose, a bantamweight sense of history and understated Catholic morality to make highly entertaining fiction. ~ Publishers Weekly A richly plotted, entertaining tale. ~ Kirkus Reviews Sentimentality and nostalgia for bygone days underlie this coming-of-age story from Greeley. Fans will love it. ~ Library Journal

Author Notes

Roman Catholic priest Andrew M. Greeley was the author of more than 100 non-fiction works of theology, sociology, prayer, and poetry; a professor of sociology; a newspaper columnist; and a successful novelist, writing in several genres, including mystery and science fiction. He was born on February 5, 1928 and was a native of Chicago. Greeley studied at Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary and earned an AB from St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in 1950, a Bachelor of Sacred Theology in 1952, and a Licentiate of Sacred Theology in 1954. He went on to receive a Master of Arts in 1961 and a Ph D in 1962.

Greeley's fiction, which often told stories of crime and scandal in the Roman Catholic church, can be violent and lurid and are considered controversial by many Church leaders. Greeley wrote on such issues as homosexuality in the clergy, pedophilia, and papal politics, and he created the popular mystery series starring Father Blackie Ryan, as well as another featuring the character Nuala McGrail.

Greeley was awarded honorary degrees from the University of Arizona, Bard College (New York State) and the National University of Ireland, Galway. In 1981, he received the F. Sadlier Dinger Award, which is presented each year by educational publisher William H. Sadlier, Inc. in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the ministry of religious education in America.

Greeley died on May 29, 2013 at his Chicago home. He was 85. (Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

What's next for Charles Cronin O'Malley, better known as "Chucky," whom readers first met in Greeley's A Midwinter's Tale (1998), World War II is over, and Chucky comes back from occupied Germany to his native Chicago turf to participate in the postwar boom. He always wanted to go to Notre Dame and become an accountant, but that dream fizzles when he gets himself expelled, in part because of a mildly suggestive photograph he took of beautiful Rosemarie Clancy, his sister Peg's best friend, a kind of O'Malley foster daughter. As one door closes, another seems to open. Chucky's interest in photography leads to work on a student magazine and a developing relationship with the editor, Cordelia, not to mention a prize in Life's college photographer contest. The romance with Cordelia is not helped by Chucky's unresolved feelings for Rosemarie. Meanwhile, how to help pal Jimmy Rizzo, who is engaged to Monica Sullivan? Monica's father opposes the match because of Rizzo's mob connections. For the most part, this novel is fairly somnolent. Drama and action are impeded by a long section, plunked down in the middle, in which Chucky's father recounts his own youth and courting days, and by Greeley's narrative style. Too often, his attempts to capture the spirit of the times get mired in exposition ("The Russians had exploded their first atomic bomb; Communists in East Germany and China were establishing governments. What we would later call the Cold War was underway"). Younger Than Springtime is more a bridge between the last installment in the Chucky saga and the next than a genuine advance, but for Greeley's loyal fans, this trip down memory lane is a safe bet. --Mary Ellen Quinn

Publisher's Weekly Review

The leisurely, enjoyable sequel to Greeley's A Midwinter's Tale again follows the O'Malley family of Chicago. Here he chronicles the romantic and spiritual fortunes of returned soldier Chuck O'Malley, who comes home in 1949, having been stationed for two years in postwar Germany. Enrolling in Notre Dame, he finds himself chafing against the narrow intellectual limits of the curriculum, and he also struggles mightily, even self-mockingly, with the sin of lust. The conversational, reflective first-person narration sets a relaxed tone as Chuck, admiring the two-piece bathing suits newly in vogue, develops a passion for photography. The central image, bookending the novel, is a snapshot Chuck takes of beautiful Rosemarie Clancy, the troubled alcoholic daughter of Chuck's father's best friend. The photo of Rosemarie, in d‚shabill‚, gets Chuck into trouble at Notre Dame and concatenates his search for spiritual meaning within the strict prohibitions of the Church. Chuck and Rosemarie's lifelong mutual attraction permeates the novel, with Greeley shifting focus in the middle of the book to Chuck's father, John. The elder O'Malley tells of how he met Chuck's mother, and the part Rosemarie's father, Jim Clancy, played in the eventual union. John O'Malley's story is deftly set in the center of Chuck's saga, creating correlative resonances that would be less graceful and harmonious in a single plot line. Greeley conveys a palpable nostalgia, as if each story of love won and lost is simply the latest echo of an earlier story, itself the echo of another. He captures, with signature expertise, both the essence (torturous guilt over sexual longings and transgressions) and the evocative details (students forbidden to read Ulysses, descriptions of women's fortresslike undergarments) of growing up Catholic in the late '40s. By the end, where Greeley skillfully ties up one plot line as he keeps the other aloft for the next book, readers may discover that they, too have been romancedÄby an expert storyteller. $100,000 ad/promo. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

"Chuck" Cronin O'Malley is back, safe in Chicago after his tour of duty in post-World War II Germany. But then he finds himself in conflict with a mob boss even as he falls in love with lovely Rosemarie. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.