I tried to look up commentary on the novel but have found very little that I can access. I want someone to read this novel so that I can hash out its meanings! I would definitely recommend this book for my book club. It has a rich plot and sympathetic characters. Most of all it has controversial ideas about what we owe to society, in particular to children and fallen soldiers. I get Homer Wells; he is my hero. The passage about the Ferris Wheel is riveting. Did I mention it is set in Maine and concerns orphans, abortions, apple trees, love in unexpected equations and fighter pilots?
Some quotable quotes and memorable language:
"Sometimes when we are labeled, when we are branded, our brand becomes a calling."
"The coastal winds gave the brittle orchard such a shaking that the clashing trees resembled frozen soldiers in all postures of saber-rattling."
"Grown-ups don't look for signs in the familiar. . . but an orphan is always looking for signs."
"But who seeks the truth from unlikable sources?"
"Always be suspicious of easy work"
"Reality for orphans is often outdistanced by their ideals; if Homer wanted Candy, her wanted her ideally."
"Don't think so badly of compromise; we don't always get to choose the ways we can be of use."
"What is hardest to accept about the passage of time is that the people who once mattered the most to us are wrapped up in parenthesis."
"Rules, he guessed, never asked; rules told."
"How we love to love things for other people; how we love to have other people love things through our eyes."
"his happiness was not the point, or that it wasn't as important as his usefullness."