the next good book

The Hearts Of Men

By Nickolas Butler


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.”

Related books: