Lonely Are the Brave
By Larry Zuckerman
Larry Zuckerman, author of Lonely Are the Brave (forthcoming), named for a Shakespearean actor because of crossed paths during World War II, has been blending drama with history ever since he took up writing at age fifteen. His first book, The Potato: How the Humble Spud Rescued the Western World, was excerpted in the New York Times and won an award in the United Kingdom. The Rape of Belgium: The Untold Story of World War I resulted from his lifelong passion for that tragic era, which inspired Lonely Are the Brave, his fiction debut. He has appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition with Renée Montagne, delivered a keynote address at the 2009 World Potato Congress in Christchurch, New Zealand, and was a historical consultant for Hot Potatoes, an award-winning PBS documentary. A former at-home parent to two sons, now grown—another inspiration for Lonely Are the Brave—he lives in Seattle.
When Rollie Birch returns home from the Great War in 1919 with a cluster of medals, he feels as if he’s landed in the wrong country. His wife has died, leaving behind an infant daughter born while he was overseas. His small logging town of Lumberton, Washington, has grown but still runs on gossip. Almost overnight, Rollie the hero becomes a pariah for his scandalous decision to raise his daughter by himself—a child rumored not to be his—and for refusing to talk about his wartime exploits.
The past two years have changed Kay Sorensen as well. Daughter of the Lumberton timber baron, Kay spent the war working for her father, organizing patriotic and charitable efforts, and discovering her love for politics and business. But when her husband—Rollie’s former platoon commander—returns, Kay expects, correctly, that he’ll make her quit her job. She’s dreamed of marriage as an equal partnership; now, she chafes under her husband’s cold tyranny. Did the war change him?
Rollie might know, and Kay steels herself to beg information from a man her husband has publicly insulted. But neither Kay nor Rollie can anticipate how secrets, lies, and horrifying revelations may destroy them. Do two lonely, passionate rebels have the moral courage to stand up to gossip, defy cultural boundaries, and dare reinvent themselves in a world forever changed?
To be published 2023 (Cynren Press) - 9781947976399 – Paperback - 312 pages - Rights: World