The Standard Grand
"When an Army trucker goes AWOL before her third deployment, she ends up sleeping in Central Park. There, she meets a Vietnam vet and widower who inherited a tumbledown Borscht Belt resort. Converted into a halfway house for homeless veterans, the Standard--and its two thousand acres over the Marcellus Shale Formation--is coveted by a Houston-based multinational company. Toward what end, only a corporate executive knows. With three violent acts at its center--a mauling, a shooting, a mysterious death decades in the past--and set largely in the Catskills, The Standard Grand spans an epic year in the lives of its diverse cast: a female veteran protagonist, a Mesoamerican lesbian landman, a mercenary security contractor keeping secrets and seeking answers, a conspiratorial gang of combat vets fighting to get peaceably by, and a cougar--along with appearances by Sammy Davis, Jr. and Senator Al Franken. All of the characters--soldiers, civilians--struggle to discover that what matters most is not that they've caused no harm, but how they make amends for the harm they've caused. The Standard Grand confronts a glaring cultural omission: the absence of women in our war stories. Like the best of its characters--who aspire more to goodness than greatness--this American novel hopes to darn a hole or two in the frayed national fabric"-- Provided by publisher.
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