COME A LITTLE CLOSER
Few authors capture the atmosphere and voices of the heartland during the mid-20th century like Garlock. She completes her Tucker family trilogy with a tender, realistic look at small-town America after WWII and what war can do to those who fought and those who waited at home. Crisp prose and simple words cannot hide the powerful underlying lessons of loss, friendship, brotherly love, family ties and the simple acts of kindness that bind a community.
Even with the war at an end, the need for trained Army nurses is high. Christina Tucker decides to leave home for a position in a the small town of Longstock, Wisc., working with the town’s doctor. The main focus of her work will be Holden Sutter, a returning solder suffering from what we now know as post-traumatic stress syndrome. But it is Holden’s brother Tyler, a veteran of the Pacific arena, who stirs something in Christina. Though he appears hostile and angry his obvious concern and love for Holden tell Christina he is, at heart, a good man. Though he fights his attraction Tyler begins to trust Christina with his brother and his love. Christina adjusts to the town as she works alongside Dr. Barlow, but she has a lot to learn about the secrets kept by Longstock’s residents — secrets of hate and repressed anger that place Christina, the doctor and her growing relationship with Tyler in grave danger. (GRAND CENTRAL, Nov., 400 pp., $16.50)