My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The book was nothing like what the title suggested to me. In ways it was a coming of age story; in other ways it was a reflecting back on a long life. It was told from the perspective of the old adult looking back; narratives of the teenage years had an immediacy of first person, but an occasional comment reminding us that it was long past, comments like, “I’m not sure I saw it that way then.” The back and forth was effective, overall, though there were occasions where it took too long to know which decade I was reading about now.
The pacing was an interesting mix of leisurely description and intense activity and suspense. There were times I could hardly put it down, others when it would have been easy. Details are revealed gradually, filling in most gaps. Those gaps left without detail nonetheless had hints enough for the reader to fill.
A recurring theme, you decide when it will hurt, was effectively woven through the narrative without becoming heavy. There were other moments of choice, well told, as well. (Perhaps I was more alert to them, having just finished A Terrorist’s Son: A Story of Choice.)