I read this book over a month ago, so in covid time, that’s like what, 7 months ago?! When I went over to Goodreads to figure out how far behind I was in my Cannonball reviews I was like, “Oh yeeeeah. I read that!!” It was the book club pick for my local library book club, but since we didn’t meet last month (when I had read the book, Trevor Noah’s amazing Born a Crime) I figured I was off the hook this month but OH WAIT, the Tuesday before the Thursday morning I decided to try to power (audio) read it. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. Yeah. Totally failed, but I did finish it and am here to tell you it was pretty good.
Set in the 1960s, this is a story of the sons of a Methodist preacher in a small town in the Midwest as they grapple with loss and coming of age over the course of one fateful summer. One brother, Frank, is telling the story 40 years later, so we see some neat things done with foreshadowing using the narrative device. My favorite character though is their mother, not the typical preacher’s wife, who though moreso a supporting character, is a rich and interesting person and not what you would expect from her role/station/geography.
I had a few things spoiled for me as I attended the meeting, not having finished the book, but there were still a number of twists and turns. As I kept going I was texting my pal who is the librarian in charge of the book with “wait…it can’t be so and so” and “OMGEE THIS IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN” and I got a few things right, but enough surprises that earned a “well done” to Krueger. This is a pretty quick and interesting book, thoughtful enough to be engaging, but not so so heavy as to drag you down during this dark timeline.