A member of the greatest generation looks back on the loves and losses of his past and comes to treasure the present anew in this poignant and thoughtful new novel from a modern master Stewart O’Nan is renowned for illuminating the unexpected grace of everyday life and the resilience of ordinary people with humor,intelligenceand compassion. In this prequel to the beloved EmilyAlonehe offers an unsentimentalmoving life story of a twentieth-century everyman. SoldiersonloverhusbandbreadwinnerchurchgoerHenry Maxwell has spent his whole life trying to live with honor. A native Pittsburgher and engineerhe’s always believed in logicsacrificeand hard work. Nowseventy-five and retiredhe feels the world has passed him by. It’s 1998the American century is endingand nothing is simple anymore. His children are distanttheir unhappiness a mystery. Only his wife Emily and dog Rufus stand by him. Once so confidentas Henry’s strength and memory desert himhe weighs his dreams against his regrets and is left with questions he can’t answer: Is he a good man? Has he done right by the people he loves? And with time running outwhatrealisticallycan he hope for? Like EmilyAloneHenryHimself is a wrywarmhearted portrait of an American original who believes he’s reached a dead end only to discover life is full of surprises.
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