I found this story quite touching. The protagonist's voice reminds me very much of a Chicago blogger a little younger than Brother, and I kept thinking how perfectly Parry captured Brother's self. The strength of the family was appealing. I'm generally put off by explicit Christianity, but Parry made the family's religion part and parcel of their innermost selves without proselytizing. The present tense was a little jarring- it's hard to pull off but certainly gives an immediacy to the flow of the story. I liked the setting and all the characters. I think the insight into what happens to a family when the mainstay is shipped off to war was very nicely done, as was the impact to the community at large. 3.5 stars.