Sammy Brady lives a quiet life in a small Illinois town. Sequestered from the rest of the world for reasons both of his making (a hinted-at tragedy in his past) and not of his making (his homosexuality), his basset hound Stump is really the only living thing he has–until his recently widowed neighbor barges into his loneliness with a loneliness of his own. Together, they build a dog house modeled after a ship, at which point Sammy is interviewed by a local newspaper writer–the great nephew of the young man he loved as a teenager, the person who died, the person whose death he hugs to him as his fault. His neighbor’s granddaughter appears, his long-lost brother with a mysterious connection to a militant organization resurfaces, and Sammy is drawn into a slow, inexorable descent into his past as his world widens enough to include other people.
This was a gorgeous, gorgeous book. It is lovingly written; we are drawn into characters that if real, we wouldn’t look at twice. I loved this. Highly recommend.