The Hearts Of Men

By Nickolas Butler

8/10
(8/10)

386 pages

What’s it about?
This novel spans three generations in Northern Wisconsin between 1962 and 2022.  The book is told in four separate parts and centers around a Boy Scout camp named “Camp Chippewa”.  The book begins as 13-year-old Nelson tries to find a place among the other boys and men at camp.

What did it make me think about?
This was a coming-of-age story about fathers, sons, bullies, war, and ultimately about honor and integrity.   Although the novel focuses on the father-son connection, Butler never downplays the role that mothers play in the lives of their sons.

Should I read it?
As many of you know I am a sucker for a good coming-of-age story.  As this novel says, “We all start out as little kids.”- and maybe that is why we can all relate to parts of any story that begins in childhood.  This book had one of the strongest characters I have read in a while.  Nelson was the heart of this book and I personally felt that the stories were strongest when Nelson was most present.  This novel has a lot to say, and although I thought the last half of the book was not as strong as the beginning, I would still recommend it.

Quote-
“He can’t pinpointit, the one thing about his personality, his being that, if changed, might win him more friends.”

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