Leaving Home Trilogy
In Worship of Hollow Gods, James Sniechowski bears witness to the world of a sensitive, nine-year-old boy, subjected to the underbelly of his Polish Catholic family in working class Detroit. The year is 1950. The family gathers for a Friday night poker/pinochle party. The outcome reveals a world no one ever talked about then and are forbidden to talk about now—the unspoken, the impermissible, the reality beneath every family’s practiced appearance—and what lies beneath when the front has been ripped away.
An Ambition to Belong, the second novel in James Sniechowski’s Leaving Home Trilogy, develops the growth of Jim. Now 13, he confronts the challenges of his life split between the traditional demand of his Old World Polish Catholic family in 1955 Detroit and the newly emerging but equally oppressive world of his University of Detroit High School—a Jesuit college preparatory institution set in the upper-class suburbs designed to reflect and house Detroit’s burgeoning corporate executive class.
Jim does not fit—not at home, nor in school, and certainly not in the church.
When Angels Die, the third book in James Sniechowski’s Leaving Home Trilogy, takes his lead character, Jim, from a prestigious New York City acting school to early success in his career. With each new role, his Polish peasant Catholic upbringing threatens to unravel his soul. An existential rivalry ensues with one part pulling him toward the world and a life of deep self-expression and another part demanding abject submission to a culture that views the world as treacherous, seductive, repulsive, and sinful.
While working at a regional theater, he finds real love for the first time, and it is through love that Jim discovers his true path.
When Angels Die, with its philosophic and poetic overtones, is storytelling at its very best.