This is a moving first novel, "The Given World," by Marian Palaia. It takes place during the 1960's, 1970's and 1980's in the life of a woman whose brother goes missing in the Vietnam War. Palaia perfectly captures how the war changed the lives of the loved ones back home.
Here's a novel to sink into for its place and characters, a dive bar filled with diverse patrons you won't easily forget. Enter its world and you'll meet Owen in a Santa suit, Shambles, No Eyebrows and many other colorful people. This exceptional novel, "Damascus" by Joshua Mohr, is brilliantly quirky and compassionately heartfelt.