Stephen has returned home to take up from his stepfather as pastor. He has also returned in time to sit at his dying mother’s bed side. He knows she is dying and is writing her eulogy, but at the same time remembering his past, as well as the stories and legends that grew up surrounding his grandfather Jeannot.
Zentner’s debut novel is a slow, atmospheric retelling of those childhood memories interspresed with Stephen’s musings on his current situation and relationships with his family members.
What do you think when you hear that someone has committed suicide? Many probably wonder why? and then begin to speculate. Some will accuse the suicide victim of being selfish, or cowardly and not being able to live. But for Joiner these responses are not answers. They are myths. He has researched this topic at great lengths, and he also has personal experience, as his father committed suicide. As did his maternal grandfather. In this book he lists the main myths that people use to try and explain suicide, and then he debunks them.
It was a time of darkness where the cities of the damned were stacked high with the bones of fallen heroes.
Barbara Thorson doesn’t need career day. She already has a career, that of giant-killer. She tells her teacher and class this fact, for some reason they don’t believe her. She’s regarded as a freak. And is friendless as school, until a new girl shows up while Barbara is out setting giant traps. They slowly become friends, but things don’t really improve for Barbara. Her father is absent. Her sister out at work all day, and then stressed, and a bad cook. And her mother…