"Small actions have large consequences, in life and in this novel, like concrete filling the space between wooden blocks to keep an old building standing, or memories tucked in the cracks of a sacred wall. Meanwhile a man, not yet so old, seeks a way forward that’s not so tied after all to the past."
- Read the full Review by Sheila Deeth
Memories of war have always loomed large for Dwight Bogdanovic. After all, his immigrant grandfather volunteered to fight in World War I and his working-class father joined up with the Canadian Army to fight the Nazis early in World War II. Yet it is only when Dwight's soldier son, Bertrand, is killed under mysterious circumstances in Afghanistan that he really tries to understand why men fight and die. Dwight Bogdanovic enjoyed a golden childhood in an idealized vision of 1950s America, freely riding his bicycle in the streets, playing pick-up ball games in the park, and earning pocket money by shoveling snow or raking leaves for neighbors. But coming of age proves difficult. After dropping out of college during the height of the Vietnam War and after receiving a medical deferment from the draft, he travels the Midwest selling encyclopedias door-to-door to people who don't want them, before returning to his hometown of Indianapolis. There he lands a series of temp jobs and hooks up with a hippie girlfriend before meeting the woman who will become his wife. All seems right until, one by one, all his loved ones succumb to their own fates-disease, old age, and war. Especially his son; especially war. Dwight struggles to overcome the loss of Bertrand and constantly replays letters from him in his head before realizing, with the help of yet another woman in his life, that the greatest challenge is not merely to survive, but to let go. - Description from Goodreads