by Mary Relindes Ellis
Story about a broken family on a poor, hardscrabble farm in Wisconsin. The father is an abusive drunk, the mother appears to suffer from mental illness, the older son has a definite mean streak. It\’s the younger boy you really feel for- trying to protect his mother, avoid his father, looking up to a brother he also fears. The older son enlists to fight in Vietnam, and the war touches the whole family. Letters home, and then a report of MIA… It really jumps around a lot, maybe that\’s why this book didn\’t work for me. Told from one viewpoint and then another- the younger boy, the mother, the neighbor who tries to watch out for them, the older son in Vietnam, sometimes another minor character. I was unable to feel very interested in any of them, and I just did not want to read another story right now about a dysfunctional family, abuse and tragedy. The writing style also felt a little flat to me.
I can find lots of remarks about this book on Goodreads and Amazon, but not on other book blogs. Have any of you read it?
Abandoned 368 pages, 2004