Life Between Wars by Robert H. Patton

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There is no question who killed the tourist scuba diver caught poaching from local lobster traps at dawn off Penscot Island. Robby Cochran letting the guy go unpunished would have been the surprise. But aftermath brings down flutters of doubt that are near miraculous in a thug like Robby, and he's only the first to find the rules and customs he's living by overturned by his act. Life Between Wars examines the ripples being caused by one violent incident as they disperse and build to a virtual tidal wave through the Penscot community. Meet teenagers bending on comic crusades for sex and contraband, a would-be nun seeking a last romance to miss from within the cloister, and an eccentric octogenarian certain he's seeing the face of God in his backyard shrubbery. An ex-lieutenant and his former platoon sergeant warily circle one another, too old to be reliving ugly rivalries born in South Vietnam almost two decades earlier, yet too set in the ways to risk the dangers of forgiveness. There is a flamboyant painter, with frightening and thrilling sexual infatuations, along with his delusions of terminal illness. And then there is the handicapped youth whose very nickname, "Johnwayne," both parodies and embodies the mystery of proper American manhood that so compels and befuddles his neighbors.

About Robert H. Patton

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Robert H. Patton, the grandson of General George S. Patton, is a novelist living in Darien, Connecticut.
Published May 1, 1997 by Permanent Pr Pub Co. 252 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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This one is an edgy, tough-minded portrait of the lives, secrets, resentments, and longings of a group of year-round residents on Penscot Island (a place overwhelmed by tourists in the summer, but isolated and grim through much of the rest of the year), distinguished by Patton's grasp of what lif...

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Publishers Weekly

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Patton and author of The Pattons: A Personal History of an American Family, creates a fictional New England island as the stage for a crowded psychological drama of guilt, retribution and enlightenment.

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