"Henry Smith's father told him that if you build your house far enough away from Trouble, then Trouble will never find you."
Henry's brother was hit by a car one day while out running. They were supposed to go climb Katahdin together but it looks like that's not going to happen. His brother lies in the hospital--his once athletic unbeatable brother. His brother speaks one word and it's directed at him... Katahdin. And now when he's on his beach and feels a wave... a silence and knows his brother is dead he knows what to do. He must climb the mountain and do what his brother said he could not.
He can't convince his family of course. His family has been split apart. His father hasn't shaven in weeks which has never happened before and he won't leave the house. The house that was far from Trouble until Trouble finally found them. His mother is just sad. She doesn't like people getting into their business. The whole town goes on about how the Americans that have been there for generations and generation shouldn't be subjected to the new Cambodians. That Chay Chouan got away with murder but it was just an accident right? And his sister crying endlessly and never coming out of her room not even for her older brother's funeral. But he needs to climb Katahdin. It calls to him. So off he goes with his best friend Sanborn and his dog Black Dog to the mountain and along the way he finds himself going with his brother's killer. On a journey once met only for him and his brother trying to prove himself to him he finds Trouble and how Trouble will always find a way back to him.
Gary D. Schmidt (I love saying his name) has this signature I think. If you didn't know who wrote this book you would think it was him and you'd be write. I don't know what is about his books that make me feel they are all connected and familiar. Not like he repeats his stories... he does have something with two sides that are in conflict with each other. That's probably it but also his writing. Anyways I have had this book on my TBR list for at least 2 years now and so happy it didn't disappoint. It was close to an amazing book but not quite there. The whole thing with Trouble. I mean I didn't understand that. I could guess but I don't know why they were so obsessed with it.
Henry could have had a more dramatic realization with his brother but it was still okay. When everything was revealed about Chay I was just waiting till Henry realized or discovered what happened. I still couldn't believe it at the end because.. well you guys don't know what I'm talking about so I'll leave it there.
Chay was such a good guy and if I was Henry's mother I would consider forgiving him too. He did kill my son and I would have a little part of me die inside... but he deserved nothing from what his father gave him. I do understand though which is sad...
I want Black Dog! Even if she's all messed up. I love when I'm greeted by my dog and she's always happy so I'd be always happy too but I don't think I would handle her destruction that calmly...
I think Gary D. Schmidt fans will appreciate this book. It's older than the other two mentioned but I think it'll still resonate with them. And any others looking for books about a journey and conflict will like this book.
One last thing. To those Americans that didn't like how the Cambodians took their jobs and how they don't belong and how they are different and blah blah blah. You aren't special because your family has been here for generations. Immigrants are as much as Americans as you and in the words of Jack White's (The White Stripes) Icky Thump song "White Americans, what, nothin' better to do? Why don't kick yourself out? You're an immigrant too"