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The Signal Flame
by Andrew Krivak


Overview - The stunning second novel from National Book Award finalist Andrew Krivak--a heartbreaking, captivating story about a family awaiting the return of their youngest son from the Vietnam War.

In a small town in Pennsylvania's Endless Mountains Hannah and her son Bo mourn the loss of the family patriarch, Jozef Vinich.  Read more...


 
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More About The Signal Flame by Andrew Krivak
 
 
 
Overview
The stunning second novel from National Book Award finalist Andrew Krivak--a heartbreaking, captivating story about a family awaiting the return of their youngest son from the Vietnam War.

In a small town in Pennsylvania's Endless Mountains Hannah and her son Bo mourn the loss of the family patriarch, Jozef Vinich. They were three generations under one roof. Three generations, but only one branch of a scraggy tree; they are a war-haunted family in a war-torn century. Having survived the trenches of World War I as an Austro-Hungarian conscript, Vinich journeyed to America and built a life for his family. His daughter married the Hungarian-born Bexhet Konar, who enlisted to fight with the Americans in the Second World War but brought disgrace on the family when he was imprisoned for desertion. He returned home to Pennsylvania a hollow man, only to be killed in a hunting accident on the family's land. Finally, in 1971, Hannah's prodigal younger son, Sam, was reported MIA in Vietnam.

And so there is only Bo, a quiet man full of conviction, a proud work ethic, and a firstborn's sense of duty. He is left to grieve but also to hope for reunion, to create a new life, to embrace the land and work its soil through the seasons. The Signal Flame is a stirring novel about generations of men and women and the events that define them, brothers who take different paths, the old European values yielding to new world ways, and the convalescence of memory and war.

Beginning shortly after Easter in 1972 and ending on Christmas Eve this ambitious novel beautifully evokes ordinary time, a period of living and working while waiting and watching and expecting. The Signal Flame is gorgeously written, honoring the cycles of earth and body, humming with blood and passion, and it confirms Andrew Krivak as a writer of extraordinary vision and power.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781501126376
  • ISBN-10: 1501126377
  • Publisher: Scribner Book Company
  • Publish Date: January 2017
  • Page Count: 272
  • Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.9 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Historical - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-11-07
  • Reviewer: Staff

National Book Awardfinalist Krivák continues in the tradition of his debut (The Sojourn) with this bleak but breathtaking second novel. The book opens with the death of the family patriarch, Jozef Vinich, who leaves his sprawling farm in Pennsylvanias rural Endless Mountains to his daughter, Hannah, and oldest grandson, Bo. While Bo runs the roughing mill, Hannah tends the chickens, and the two await the return of Bos brother, Sam, who is reported MIA in Vietnam. Told in three parts stretching from Easter to Christmas Eve 1972, the narrative soon picks up steam with the addition of Ruth, Sams pregnant fiancée, and the daughter of the man responsible for killing Hannahs husband in a hunting mishap. By the third section, more backstory has been revealedRuths ancestors ties to Vinichs land, Sams reasons for enlisting, Hannahs long-held grudge against Ruths fatheradding texture and depth to the familys already rich history. Devastating accidents befall these characters and the heartache they endure is palpable. But theres love, too. This family saga is quiet at its core, but its Kriváks gorgeous prose and deep grasp of the relationship between longing and loss that make the book such a stunner. (Jan.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews