When Harris Thatcher's father dies, the boy's journey into manhood becomes complicated with questions of faith, the meaning of life, and the capriciousness of death. Harris soon finds himself preaching the Mormon gospel as one of the first missionaries to West Germany following the devastation of World War II. Little does he know that his own war horrors await him upon his return home, when he is drafted into the Korean War.
Starting out in the same 1940s-era Provo, Utah, that Thayer brought to life in his memoir Hooligan: A Mormon Boyhood, this novel deepens and darkens as Harris is drawn into his harrowing Korean ordeal. Will he survive the war, not only physically but also emotionally and spiritually? And if he does survive, what other trials does death hold in store?