American Boy


"We were exposed to these phenomena in order that we might learn something, but then the lessons we learn are not always those we are taught. . . ."

So begins Matthew Garth's story of the fall of 1962, when the shooting of a young woman on Thanksgiving Day sets off a chain of unsettling events in Willow Falls, Minnesota. Matthew, a young man of limited means, first sees Louisa Lindahl in Dr Dunbar's home office, and at the time her bullet wound makes nearly as strong an impression as her unclothed body. Fueled over the following weeks by his feverish longing for this mysterious woman--as well as by a deep desire for the comfort and affluence that appears to surround the Dunbars, his adopted family--Matthew finds himself drawn into a series of confrontations he never expected, the results of which will change his life irrevocably and give lie to his version of the American Dream.

Immersive, heartbreaking, and richly evocative of time and place, this long-awaited novel marks the return of a great American storyteller.