No Direction Home offers a poignant and often heartbreakin"/>

The God of War

Marisa Silver, Author . Simon & Schuster $23 (271p) ISBN 978-1-4165-6316-7

An elegantly observed coming-of-age story steeped in poverty and violence, this novel by the author of No Direction Home offers a poignant and often heartbreaking account of Ares Ramirez. The year is 1978, and 12-year-old Ares has outgrown the cramped trailer in the California desert that he shares with his mother, Laurel, and six-year-old brother, Malcolm. Malcolm has profound developmental disabilities, but Laurel, out of a free-spirited and self-righteous view of motherhood, has only recently (and very reluctantly) allowed Malcolm to get treatment. A horrific childhood accident and encroaching adolescence, meanwhile, fill Ares with a potent and inarticulate anger. In the absence of any outlet for his preoccupation with violence, Ares falls into an uneasy friendship with Kevin, the troubled foster child of Malcolm's new speech therapist. Conflict with Laurel, her on-again-off-again boyfriend and a small community that will not accept Malcolm, drive Ares into Kevin's manipulative sway, and Ares will have to choose between protecting his family or embracing the violence building inside him. The characters are painted with compassion and unflinching honesty, and the climax is pithy and consequential. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/18/2008
Release date: 04/01/2008
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FORMATS
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-4332-4288-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-4332-1227-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-4332-1225-3
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4332-7305-6
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-4332-1226-0
MP3 CD - 978-1-4332-1228-4
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-4332-1224-6
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4165-6330-3
Paperback - 271 pages - 978-1-4165-6317-4
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