A moody, often effective first novel that revolves around two twin brothers in Vermont in the late 60's, one of whom goes off to fight (and die) in Vietnam, the other who stays back and will flee to Canada instead if it comes to that. But political differences aren't major factors in the rural lives of Bodie and Harmon Woodard; more to the agonizing point has been Harmon's inability to father a child with his wife Darlene--and his decision one night to put Bodie in his procreative stead. The plan never really comes about (though Darlene does become pregnant--by Harmon, though he'll never be sure, a doubt he'll take to his violent grave). It's the play between Darlene and Bodie and Harmon that gives the book its energy. Metz can lay on the crusty New Englandisms too heavily, but there is emotional vigor here that allows every major character a fleshiness and credibility that the fragile story barely supports. An erratic but generally strong debut.