In 1948, in Mitchell, Missouri, a small town of ornate garden gates, bearded iris and harmless gossip, bad things shouldn’t happen. But too soon and too painfully, eight-year-old Roscoe Hammer learns that they do.
His baby sister is stricken with a sudden, life-altering illness and as her condition worsens, his family is overcome with despair. While his mother drifts into depression, his father struggles to fill the void. When Roscoe embarks on a plan to help the family heal, he finds himself in the middle of a series of interconnected mysteries. Who killed Crazy George Mabry’s little dog? Who beat George with a tree branch and left him for dead in Harmony Park? Who – or what – lives in the abandoned shed behind Gertie Paulson’s grocery store? And who shot and killed the town’s bully?
Roscoe’s search for the answers – often in the companionship of his best friend, Fatty Gilchrist – is at times frightening, laughable, heart-rending and heart-warming. When all the “facts” are in, when he fears that he alone is in possession of the whole truth, he runs headlong into a lesson that will affect his life forever: There is no such thing as the whole truth and the part of realty we cannot see is often more important than that which we can.
Walk the streets of Mitchell, Missouri with Roscoe and his dog Ranger and his friend Fatty, and make their hometown your own. Listen as they try to decide what is right and just and then reflect on your own sense of the same. And then learn again – because you have always known it but have only forgotten – nothing shapes us like the things that happen to us, the people we meet, and the secrets we keep when we are children.
..”. Gallemore has conjured a rich, resonant growing-up tale that celebrates the depth and diversity of Middle America. His novel provides an array of lovely musing moments … a striking, thought-provoking literary debut.” -Kirkus Reviews