Praise for Jonathan Hull's previous novel, Losing Julia:
"Superb ... an elegant and touching meditation on life, particularly lost love, and the ravages of war ... Classy and provocative, sometimes stunning."
- Denver Post Books
"Losing Julia receives its immense depth and poignancy from Patrick's search for the meaning of life ... One of the most memorable characters of recent memory."
- Denver Rocky Mountain News
"A love story... authentically told."
- San Francisco Chronicle-Examiner
"[A] grasp of history and sense of story combined with remarkable freshness."
- Washington Post Book World
- Publishers Weekly
"A cross-century epic of love and loss ... highly readable."
- The New York Post
"The touches of historical and technical detail are expert and used with admirable restraint."
- San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
A cranky grandfather, a troubled teen, memories of World War II and a trip to the beaches of Normandy-in less talented hands, you'd have the mawkish recipe for a bad movie of the week, but Hull's smooth writing transforms this familiar material into a fast-moving, likable tale. Hull covers some of the same territory-the vicissitudes of old age, the bittersweet ache of memory and the horrors of war-as he did in his first novel, Losing Julia, but this time the focus is on the recently widowed Mead and his relationship with his grandson, 16-year-old Andrew. Andrew has just been kicked out of school for brandishing a penknife. His best friend, Matt, has killed himself and Andrew is thinking of doing the same. Mead suggests to his single-parent daughter, Sharon, that Andrew fly from Chicago to visit him in California for a three-week stay. Mead has little sympathy for teenage boys in general and not much more for his bleached-blond, earring-wearing, pants-dragging grandson. But both Mead and Andrew are intelligent and caring, and with the help of the attractive widow across the street, the two settle into a prickly rapprochement. After Andrew gets into more trouble, Mead decides the only way to save him is to take the boy on a tour of the WWII battlefields where he fought when he was a young man. Surely Andrew will then appreciate the advantages he should be enjoying and will straighten himself out. None of this works quite as Mead thinks it will, but secrets are revealed and truths both harsh and pleasant learned. Everyone, the reader included, is left with a newfound sense of hope and understanding. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.