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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Hancock Hill is a historical coming of age novel written by Peter Silverman. Alex Dunhaigen is a senior at Clemons High when we first meet him. He's getting ready for what he thinks will be a hot date with Kay Cosgrove, who, rumor has it, had a boyfriend in the navy. Alex has prepped himself for the occasion by reading advice columns in Playboy. The actual date turns out to be something completely different as he finds himself enjoying Kay's companionship and their instant rapport. He's stunned when he wakes up the following day and hears that Kay and her mother have left town after an incident involving Kay's abusive step-father. Any efforts Alex makes to discover her whereabouts are unsuccessful. Even his best friend Zach's mother, whom Alex and Zach suspect knows more than she'll say, is resolutely uncooperative. Zach and Alex graduate and attend Drexel University together as they continue working on their invention.
Peter Silverman's literary fiction novel, Hancock Hill, submerges the reader in the middle of the 20th century, when the horrors of WWII are still fresh in most people's memories, and the possibility of being drafted for the Vietnam conflict is looming in many young men's minds. Alex and Zach are an intriguing combination of young, inspired and talented engineers who envision their invention benefiting the world. While Hancock Hill is primarily Alex's story, Zach's background as a Jewish refugee is a major theme, as is the similar story of their co-op sponsor and employer, Mr. Wasserman. I enjoyed reading Hancock Hill. The science and technology is fascinating and presented in a very understandable manner, and Silverman brings that in-between era to life in a fast-paced and very enjoyable story. Hancock Hill is an accomplished and absorbing coming of age tale, and I highly recommend it.