Twenty-six-year-old Peter Pappas vows to change his life this summer--or at least to move out of his childhood home. His father, a Greek Orthodox priest, still rules the roost while his mother tends their brood. His teenage sister doesn't dare confess a shocking romance, and his older brother chooses to deceive his non-Greek girlfriend rather than disappoint his parents--anything to preserve the family. When an affair with an exotic widow jump-starts Peter's journey into adulthood, he learns a secret that just might set his family free--if it doesn't destroy them first."
Every family seems to have its passions and its secrets, but the Greek-American family in this book seems to have more than its fair share of them. LOVE Park is both funny and moving, and I enjoyed it tremendously.
—CHARLES BAXTER, author of The Sun Collective and National Book Award finalist The Feast of Love
LOVE Park is a love letter to Philadelphia. The prose soars with joy and longing in this must-read debut by Jim Zervanos, who discovers poignancy and beauty not only in our murals, sculptures and architecture but also through the intimate journey of the novel’s hero. Zervanos has shown me a new Philadelphia, one that’s recognizable but richer in his imagination.
—LARRY PLATT, editor-in-chief of Philadelphia magazine and author of Only the Strong Survive: The Odyssey of Allen Iverson
I have often wondered why we Greek Americans have not produced writers like the young Saul Bellow. I think we now have one.
—HELEN PAPANIKOLAS, author of The Time of the Little Black Bird
LOVE Park is a Greek-American The Graduate, featuring a disaffected protagonist who has dreams of grandeur and a sexy widow who is his Mrs. Robinson. But beyond that, this engrossing debut novel is also an ode to the city of Philadelphia, and a tribute to forgiveness and the power of brotherly love.
—ELENI GAGE, author of North of Ithaca
I’ve lived here twenty years, and in my pea-brain, Philadelphia’s go-to ethnicity has always been Italian. Yes, the pale WASPs still rule the Main Line, but for me Philadelphia is all Italian, all the time. Or it was, until I fell deeply into LOVE Park, Jim Zervanos’s well-written, heartfelt novel about a Greek Gen-X-er’s coming of age in the era of skateboards, AIDS, bisexuality, and olive-oil-scented Mrs. Robinsons who dig boys and their dads (even when they happen to be Greek Orthodox priests). Read and discover a whole new flavor of Philadelphia story—one full of dolmades, not cannoli. Who knew?
—KELLY SIMMONS, author of Standing Still and The Bird House
LOVE Park may be for the City of Brotherly Love what cult classic Confederacy of Dunces was to the Big Easy. Jim Zervanos memorializes Philadelphia the way Woody Allen does New York. In this book, art imitates life, and LOVE Park pledges allegiance to the art of Philly. Perhaps boding fortuitously for Zervanos, he achieves in life what John Kennedy Toole did only in death.
—MISCHA GERACOULIS, the Levantine Review
LOVE Park brilliantly portrays a Greek-American family living just outside Philadelphia, adeptly exploring their inner dynamics and family secrets. Philadelphia plays a major role as the backdrop to the story as Jim brings to life its streets and public art (this reader learned one or two things about the city from this book, adding to an already considerable trivial knowledge). Highly recommended.
—CHRISTOPHER MUNDEN, editor of Philly Fiction