What It Is About: Doesn't every little boy want to be just like dad. Doesn't that same little boy want to be just like his big brother. That is the case of the twelve year old boy who leads the story of escape, survival, and coping. The three males leave Kansas and a mother behind. Their father tells them they have won the "war" and can now live a life they were destined for. The boys are thrilled to be with their dad, but conflicted on leaving their mother behind. The three of them begin a new existence in New Mexico. They enroll in a school, join sports teams, and begin to forge new friendships. Each brother supports their sibling while standing by their father. When they begin to notice changes with him, they aren't sure what to do or how to do it. They have to cover for, help him out, and become more of the adult than he is capable of being. As life for their father gets worse, each boy struggles with standing by him, reaching out to their mother, or standing on their own two feet.
What I Thought Of It: This was a gripping read/listen. It was a shorter length novel so it didn't take too many days for me to get through. The narration was incredible. I often found myself NOT wanting to get out of the car and continue to listen to the story. The author did a fantastic job of describing what life was like for these two boys living with a man that was consumed by issues, demons, and addiction. There was more than one occasion when I was actually cringing and uncomfortable with how he treated his sons. As a father myself, I couldn't imagine speaking to and/or treating my child that way. The plot was strong, full of emotion, and completely raw.
Who Should Read It: I would definitely recommend this novel to all of my adult friends that gravitate toward fiction. The reader has to be comfortable with difficult situations, abuse, addiction, and survival. I recently saw an interview with an author about tough topic books. She said the book isn't always for a reader experiencing similar situations, but for others who aren't dealing with that particular issue so they are able to see, feel, and empathize with.
Rating: 5 STARS out of 5 Stars