Joshua Eubanks and Paul Sims moved to Crown Heights, Brooklyn, for very different reasons. Joshua, a young black man, came with his single mother to escape the crime and despair of Bedford-Stuyvesant. Paul left his life of privilege in Long Island to study Judaism with the Hasidic Lubavitch movement.
They live in two different worlds separated by a few city blocks, but their hearts both yearn for Rachel Weissman, the daughter of a respected rabbi, who is torn between her aspiration to become a doctor and her obligation to obey the insular restrictions of her religion. As they establish lives in their respective communities, they are increasingly expected to take sides in growing tensions that would explode into the 1991 Crown Heights riots.
Joshua: A Brooklyn Tale views four decades through three lives. Andrew Kane’s novel is a love story about loneliness, a reflection on the value of community that acknowledges that it takes a village to raise a mob, a tale of public dysfunction and personal demons, and an image of the frail beauty of humanity that somehow survives.