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In this, Wendell Berry's fifth novel and ninth work of fiction, Andy Catlett revisits his own ninth year in the summer of 1944 when his beloved uncle is shot and killed by the surly and mysterious Carp Harmon. This is his Uncle Andrew, after whom the boy is named, someone who savored "company, talk, some kind of to-do, something to laugh at."
Years later, still possessed by the story, Andy seeks to get to the bottom of all this, to understand the two men and their lethal connection.