About this title: A man is murdered on an Illinois farm in the 1920s. Two boys, one the son of the killer, end their friendship. Fifty years later, the other boy, now a man, attempts to reconstruct the events leading up to the murder, and to understand its effect on the lives of everyone involved. Like so many of William Maxwell's novels, all of them autobiographical to some extent, the emotional impact of this short, heartbreaking, and beautifully written novel turns on early losses, a blighted boyhood friendship, and the impossibility of fixing a broken connection.
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