Bicentennial fireworks burn the sky. Bob Seger growls from a transistor radio. And down by the river girls line up on lawn chairs in pursuit of the perfect tan. Yet for ten-year-old Eli Book the summer of 1976 will go down as the one that threatened to tear his family apart. There is his beautiful and distant mother; his traumatized Vietnam vet dad; his wild and confused sister; his former war-protester aunt who moves in under mysterious circumstances; and his tough yet troubled best friend Edie the only person with whom he can completely be himself. As tempers flare and his fathers nightmares rage Eli watches from the sidelines but soon even he cannot escape the current of conflict. From the award-winning Silas House comes a tender look at the complexities of childhood and the realities of wara quintessentially Southern novel filled with music nostalgic detail a deep respect for nature and the powerful sense of place that House is hailed for.