by Chaim Potok
Daniel Saunders Timeline and Summary
- Danny appears on the baseball field as a menacing figure, out to kill.
- He bats and the ball hits Reuven right in the glasses.
- The game goes on and he brings his team to victory.
- A few days later, Danny goes to visit Reuven in the hospital. Reuven explodes and sends him away, but Danny doesn’t give up, and he comes back the next day.
- The two young men make peace and begin to learn more about each other.
- Danny is brilliant and has a photographic memory, but his father wants him to use it to study Talmud only. Danny is also in line to inherit his father’s position in the Hasidic community, but he wants to study psychology instead. To make matters worse, his father won’t talk to him about his conflict, only about Talmud.
- Oh, yes, and Danny’s been sneaking around reading forbidden books like Hemingway and Fitzgerald at the public library.
- A mysterious man is telling him what to read.
- When David comes to visit Reuven, Danny discovers that David is the same man who’s been giving him the books.
- He makes plans to meet with Reuven after the hospital. One Saturday, he takes Reuven to his father’s Shabbat service and gets his father to sanction the friendship.
- Soon after, he brings Reuven over to study Talmud with his father. It goes really well, except his father seems to have told Reuven something when Danny was out of the room.
- When Danny walks Reuven home, he learns that his dad wanted to know what books Danny was reading and that Reuven told him.
- Danny doesn't mind that Reuven told him.
- The next big thing in Danny’s life is when he starts reading Freud, which is a frustrating experience at best. He and Reuven are almost too busy to see each other.
- But, when World War II ends and David has a heart attack, Reuven moves in with Danny for a while and they make up for lost time.
- Danny enters college and isn’t pleased with his psychology lessons. When the Reb makes Reuven and Danny stop hanging out because of David’s politics, Danny is plunged into a lonely world.
- We only get glimpses of him through Reuven until the Reb relents.
- Danny and Reuven talk again, but, as they near college graduation, Danny starts getting angsty because he needs to tell the Reb he’s leaving the fold to get a doctorate in psychology.
- But, he doesn’t have to – his dad breaks the silence, and lets Danny do his thing.
- Danny walks off in to the sunset, literally.