The Hearts Of Men
By Nickolas Butler
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.
“He can’t pinpointit, the one thing about his personality, his being that, if changed, might win him more friends.”