On a snowy night in War, West Virginia, twelve-year-old Allison watches as her physician father picks up his scalpel and deliberately severs a man's jugular. "Was it worth it?" Allison writes to her father in prison.Twenty-seven years later she comes to her own answer. For now, amid the heat that shimmers off the Civil War monuments of the Gettysburg battlefield, amid the mysterious fires that are consuming the town's churches, Allison must face her own merciless truths: the death of her younger daughter, Hannah; the unraveling of her marriage as her minister husband turns away from her to God; and her intimate, unsettling friendship with a reclusive Vietnam vet. Next door to Allison, the chief of police is wrestling with his own grief. Having seen enough loss and death to darken the sun, Cal is still unprepared for his wife's announcement that she is leaving. For the first time confronting his failures as husband and father, Cal is also forced to ask the paramount question of his career: Who is turning Gettysburg's churches to ashes? In rich and lyrical prose, Joan Vannorsdall Schroeder tells the haunting stories of individuals struggling to come to terms with the fragility, and strength, of love and the power of truth.
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Published March 15, 1999
by DK CHILDREN.
Literature & Fiction.