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From The CriticsAt seventeen, Henry Shaw, the self-declared "heavyweight champion of depressed teenagehood," thinks he knows everything about his family. At twenty-seven, after uncovering evidence of his mother's ongoing adultery, he realizes he doesn't. Henry's narrative traces his mother's secret life in the Midwest with a Ukrainian violin maker living in Wisconsin, whom she met at a wedding. While Henry spies on his mother's romance, his father, a socialist high school history teacher and his thirteen-year-old sister, Elvira, a "hardcore Civil War re-enactor," endure their own crises. Hamilton deftly weaves Elvira's passion for the Civil War with another tale of duplicity and "ambiguous loyalty." This is a profound examination of a family in the throes of deception, and a devastating study of enduring love and hard-fought loyalty.
—Robert Allen Papinchak