We all reach a point in life when we realize our parents are people too. They are fragile and scarred from life’s tribulations. Oftentimes we don’t reach these conclusions until near or well into adulthood. This particular summer Eli discovered the adults in his life were grappling with large issues. His father was clinging to sanity, desperately trying not to give in to the nightmares and flashbacks plaguing him from Vietnam. His war-protesting aunt is fighting cancer and trying to repair her relationship with her brother. His mother caught between the two, trying to hold the entire family together. Eli Book manages to find solace amongst the branches of a birch tree.
At one point, Eli realizes that the Vietnam War has affected every member of his family and in many ways they are still fighting this war every day. He knows they are all victims of the Vietnam War whether they fought in uniform or not.
I liked this book and felt Silas House did a wonderful job with description and the overall story. You knew Eli was a young boy who worshipped his father, but was getting a bitter dose of reality. I enjoyed the character development and loved that there was a sense of closure in the end with details from his adulthood. I give this one four tender kisses.