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Although this is Mullen's first published work, there are none of the usual verbal pyrotechnics or high-wire "look how well I can write" balancing acts one sees with beginning authors. How refreshing to read a younger author who has already progressed beyond his ego and knows that it's all about story, story, story. Mullen tells his tale cleanly, simply and plainly--making the ironies and allegories all the more potent. I knew almost nothing of the flu epidemic of 1918 and even less about the political climate in the US during WW1. These are not subjects I would go out of my way to read about, but Mullen has made them compelling and interesting. In fact, the author's voice has the same level of confidence and maturity that one only finds in writers with decades more experience (I kept thinking of Wallace Stegner and Alice Munro while I was reading)--authors who earn your trust and confidence so early and easily that you completely relax into the writing and the voice. It's already on my Ten Best List; I can't imagine I'll read ten better books this year. It's easily the most impressive and heartfelt book I've read in a long while. --Terry Goodman
The story was interesting and engrossing and the characters very well defined.
Whilst I initially thought that the historical backdrop to this novel held huge promise, I found it very hard to engage with any of the characters in the story.
This book is a great story that explores the true nature of human conflict in society.
An excellent work of historical fiction. The author does a great job of using the claustrophobic wooded mountain setting in Washington State to make every part of the book seem a... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Adam Austin
This is a wonderful book, a coming of age story set in the Pacific Northwest during WWI. It addresses the social complexities of the time, including the ambivalent feelings about... Read morePublished 2 months ago by S. K. Boyar
This is a very complex story and I have thought about it many times since I read it. I brings out how humans treat each other in many different situations. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Linda K. Phillips
This story was OK and had an interesting premise, but was quite predictable and really made me wonder why people do what they do. Read morePublished 2 months ago by echo_star
This was a well written story, about a period and situation little known. Makes the reader think about things hard to think about. Read morePublished 5 months ago by sandra ja foss
I found the concept interesting .....the characters were all trying to do the right thing with distressing unintended consequences. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Stephen P. Reinig
This is a very rare form of book that reads like actual literature and not a novel meant for future movie adaptations. An good read.Published 7 months ago by John Stancliffe
Mullen is an out of this world storyteller. My favorite active American writer. His knack for building narrative takes historical fiction to the next level.Published 9 months ago by Chris Engle
I enjoy reading historical fiction. This book gives a window into a part of history i knew little about - namely the flu epidemic of 1918 and how people faced that terrible time. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Diane