November 1972. The Vietnam War is rumored to be drawing to a close, and for sixteen-year-old Paul Landon, the end can-t come soon enough. The end will mean his older brother Chris, the family-s golden child, returning home from the Army for good. But while home on leave, Chris entrusts Paul with a secret: He's gay. And when Chris is killed in action, Paul is beset by grief and guilt, haunted by knowledge he can't share.
That summer, Paul is forced to work at his family-s pet supply store. Worse, he must train a new employee, JJ O'Neil, a gay college freshman. But though Paul initially dislikes JJ for being everything he's not-self-confident, capable, ambitious-he finds himself learning from him. Not just about how to handle the anxious, aggressive dogs JJ so effortlessly calms and trains, but how to stand up for himself-even when it means standing against his father, his friends, and his own fears. Through JJ, Paul finally begins to glimpse who his brother really was-and a way toward becoming the man he wants to be.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 12 / 2010