Alexander Parsons, Author . Doubleday/Talese $23.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-385-51244-2

In this deeply moving second novel, about the struggles of a New Mexico ranching family during World War II, Parsons (Leaving Disneyland ) traces the effects of war at home and abroad. Ross Strickland and his brother, Baylis; their wives, Sara and Alida; and their children all live together, tending cattle and working the land. As America prepares for war, Ross and Sara's headstrong son, Jack, enlists in the army against his stubborn father's wishes. Soon, the War Department sends the Stricklands an eviction notice—their land is commandeered to provide a test site for the atomic bomb. As the family's land and livelihood slip away, so do the bonds that hold them together. Jack is reported dead, when in fact he is a prisoner of war, suffering the tortures of the Bataan Death March. Ross is sent to jail as he engages in a hopeless fight to regain his past. Baylis loses his wife and embarks on a brief affair with Sara. The action alternates between the Philippines and New Mexico, as Jack and his family struggle to survive. The two stories merge upon Jack's return, when it becomes clear that the family has been irreparably damaged. Parson's painful portrayal of the war's hardships offers a fresh and searing take on the dark shadows cast by the atomic bomb. Agent, Kim Witherspoon. (May 3)

Reviewed on: 03/14/2005
Release date: 05/01/2005
Paperback - 262 pages - 978-1-4000-7715-1
Ebook - 246 pages - 978-0-385-51589-4
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