“A complex and layered portrait of a time and place, and a family shaped, generation after generation, by the memory of war.”



This is a story of a small family living in NE Pennsylvania.

The Mother, Hannah has just lost her father in law Josef. She has 2 sons, the eldest, Bo, works the farm and runs a mill he got from his deceased grandfather, and Sam who is in Vietnam and has been declared MIA.

Her husband was killed in a hunting accident by a neighbor, and Hannah has never forgiven the neighbor for this. To compound the problem, Sam falls in love with the neighbors daughter Ruth and when he leaves for Vietnam she is pregnant.

Another terrible tragedy will finally bring Ruth closer to Sam’s family and the story will fully develop after this happens.

This is a beautifully written story.

The authors previous novel, The Sojurn, was shortlisted a few years ago for The National Book Award. The grandfather, Josef’s story is actually told in The Sojurn but you don’t need to read it to enjoy this book.

I heartily recommend this book. I thought it was exceptional the way it deals with loss and family love.

Well worth reading.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 31st January 2018

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Richard Franco