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ALL THE RUINED MEN

A collection of painfully honest and consistently empathetic glimpses of modern American soldiers in war and peace.

The lives of combat soldiers in America’s “forever wars.”

Glose adds his impressive voice to those of writers like Kevin Powers and Phil Klay who have produced powerful fiction about the experience of American soldiers fighting in the 21st-century wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The 18 linked stories in this debut collection follow the fortunes of six members of a single platoon of paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division (in which Glose served during the 1991 Gulf War), some of whose members have experienced four tours of combat duty in four years. They gaze with an unblinking eye at the physical and emotional tolls exacted from soldiers who aren’t fighting for a great cause but instead “because it was their job, each man risking everything because he loved the man next to him. Simple as that.” The relentless fear that grips these men and their anxiety and nightmares only partially quelled by cocktails of prescription drugs when they return to a country that has little understanding of all they’ve sacrificed are recurring themes. Accounts from the war zone like “Dirge,” in which one character is killed by an IED and another sustains a disfiguring facial wound, or “The Dead Aren’t Allowed To Walk,” in which an avoidable friendly fire incident takes the life of a key member of the platoon, reveal the omnipresence of random sudden death or catastrophic injury. In settings that range from an upscale suburban neighborhood in Princeton, New Jersey (“Sacrifices”), to a seedy bar in Pensacola, Florida (“First Drunk Night Back”), Glose exposes painful truths about the devastation wreaked on these soldiers and the families that ached for their safe returns and now struggle to relate to them when they arrive home. Throughout, he makes no effort to conceal the harsh realities of these damaged lives.

A collection of painfully honest and consistently empathetic glimpses of modern American soldiers in war and peace.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-2502-7988-0

Page Count: 288

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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THE GOD OF THE WOODS

"Don't go into the woods" takes on unsettling new meaning in Moore's blend of domestic drama and crime novel.

Many years after her older brother, Bear, went missing, Barbara Van Laar vanishes from the same sleepaway camp he did, leading to dark, bitter truths about her wealthy family.

One morning in 1975 at Camp Emerson—an Adirondacks summer camp owned by her family—it's discovered that 13-year-old Barbara isn't in her bed. A problem case whose unhappily married parents disdain her goth appearance and "stormy" temperament, Barbara is secretly known by one bunkmate to have slipped out every night after bedtime. But no one has a clue where's she permanently disappeared to, firing speculation that she was taken by a local serial killer known as Slitter. As Jacob Sluiter, he was convicted of 11 murders in the 1960s and recently broke out of prison. He's the one, people say, who should have been prosecuted for Bear's abduction, not a gardener who was framed. Leave it to the young and unproven assistant investigator, Judy Luptack, to press forward in uncovering the truth, unswayed by her bullying father and male colleagues who question whether women are "cut out for this work." An unsavory group portrait of the Van Laars emerges in which the children's father cruelly abuses their submissive mother, who is so traumatized by the loss of Bear—and the possible role she played in it—that she has no love left for her daughter. Picking up on the themes of families in search of themselves she explored in Long Bright River (2020), Moore draws sympathy to characters who have been subjected to spousal, parental, psychological, and physical abuse. As rich in background detail and secondary mysteries as it is, this ever-expansive, intricate, emotionally engaging novel never seems overplotted. Every piece falls skillfully into place and every character, major and minor, leaves an imprint.

"Don't go into the woods" takes on unsettling new meaning in Moore's blend of domestic drama and crime novel.

Pub Date: July 2, 2024

ISBN: 9780593418918

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Riverhead

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2024

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SANDWICH

A moving, hilarious reminder that parenthood, just like life, means constant change.

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During an annual beach vacation, a mother confronts her past and learns to move forward.

Her family’s annual trip to Cape Cod is always the highlight of Rocky’s year—even more so now that her children are grown and she cherishes what little time she gets with them. Rocky is deep in the throes of menopause, picking fights with her loving husband and occasionally throwing off her clothes during a hot flash, much to the chagrin of her family. She’s also dealing with her parents, who are crammed into the same small summer house (with one toilet that only occasionally spews sewage everywhere) and who are aging at an alarmingly rapid rate. Rocky’s life is full of change, from her body to her identity—she frequently flashes back to the vacations of years past, when her children were tiny. Although she’s grateful for the family she has, she mourns what she’s lost. Newman (author of the equally wonderful We All Want Impossible Things, 2022) imbues Rocky’s internal struggles with importance and gravity, all while showcasing her very funny observations about life and parenting. She examines motherhood with a raw honesty that few others manage—she remembers the hard parts, the depths of despair, panic, and anxiety that can happen with young children, and she also recounts the joy in a way that never feels saccharine. She has a gift for exploring the real, messy contradictions in human emotions. As Rocky puts it, “This may be the only reason we were put on this earth. To say to each other, I know how you feel.”

A moving, hilarious reminder that parenthood, just like life, means constant change.

Pub Date: June 18, 2024

ISBN: 9780063345164

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 23, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2024

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