by William Kowalski
His name is William Amos Mann IV, and he is Eddie’s bastard. Billy Mann’s life began with abandonment by his mother, and his story maintains a high level of interest since that moment. Billy, whose father, Eddie, was killed in Vietnam, is raised by his grandfather in the Mann’s ancestral home. This home, you see, is occupied by ghosts and a rich history of the Mann family. As he grows up, Billy learns his history from his grandfather’s stories and the ghosts that haunt his home.
Did I tell you that Billy wants to be a writer? Well, he does, and the writing style reflects this desire. This novel is written in the style of the 18th century novels of foundlings, complete with the very descriptive chapter headings. Each chapter is its own adventure, its own story.
I really do not want to give away the details of this wonderful novel. I will tell you this: Billy has a tough life, in which he raises himself because his grandfather is an alcoholic. Billy is very brave and loyal and constantly haunted by his family’s past.
This is one of the best novels I’ve read in quite a while.