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The Harvest Is Past Paperback – January 6, 2012
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About the Author
Hughes Keenan began his writing career at The Kansas City Star and was a member of the staff awarded the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for reporting. He has been a correspondent for United Press International, The Associated Press, Reuters and Bloomberg News, covering war, politics, sports and finance.
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As the novel's moral compass, Morley grapples the lingering emotional aftermath of war while trying to do the right thing in the face of mounting internal and external challenges; one could say Morley has issues. Like the Bible, the book is organized into "books" and "chapters," the former interspersed throughout the narrative, conveying Morley's Vietnam experiences in italics. It's a device that not only gives the story necessary context and time-centric richness, but also sheds insight into Morley's character. Morley, like those of Jeremiah's time, looks for comfort in vain and in the end, finds no salvation: "the harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved."
Keenan's background as a journalist works in his favor; he knows how to tell a story using direct prose and building tension to drive us to the book's surprising conclusion. Those familiar with Kansas City will recognize and enjoy the book's scenery. Full disclosure: I grew up in Kansas City and went to high school with Keenan. But even without the accident of location and acquaintance I still would find "The Harvest is Past" a compelling and moving read.