by Larry Watson
Minneapolis, MN : Milkweed Editions, 1993.
Now a middle-aged man, David Hayden recounts the summer of 1948, when he was twelve years old, and the events that affect him and his family deeply, even into his adulthood.
This short (175 pages) but powerful book has everything: complex characters, a sense of place, moral ambiguity, coming of age. The prose flows so you don't want to stop and lose its thread. I can't summarize it and I'm having trouble describing it. I'm not sure I liked it, but it's compelling. I'm not sure I liked the characters, but they were so real. I have no knowledge of the time and place depicted, but while I was reading I felt like I was there. Though I may not consider it a "favorite," it's definitely one of the most memorable books I've read so far this year.