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On the Way to the End of the World – A Novel

  • Pocket

  • 2023

  • Engelsk

In 1963, an eclectic group of characters embark on President Kennedy’s ambitious walking challenge. As the Cuban Missile Crisis eases, President Kennedy is casting around for a demonstration of American prowess when one of his Cabinet unearths an old mandate that US Marines be fit enough to walk fifty miles in twenty hours. Perfect! Kennedy decides to throw down the gauntlet to “today’s Marines,” but before he knows it, he’s sparked a wild fad. The entire country has answered the call, it seems, and for a few crazed winter weeks, masses of Americans will embark on their own arduous Big Walks—the “JFK 50-Milers.” Yet in tiny Humtown—an isolated mill town in the Pacific Northwest—not everyone who shows up for a hastily organized Big Walk is motivated by patriotism. Not Helen Hubka, an inveterate gossip; not the suicidal Caroline, who months earlier lost her beloved husband during the Storm of the Century. Not ex-soldier/fisherman Jaspar Goode, nor the unknown man in their midst, a collared priest who seems to shift identities at will. Certainly not Avis, a battered teenager running from her terrifying brother . . . with a stolen town treasure. And when the walkers stumble upon the abandoned car of a missing young mother, they rekindle a mystery that soon reverberates among them, exposing hidden truths, talents, and alliances. Splendidly imagined, with prose that sings on the page, On the Way to the End of the World is an adventure story riven with secrets, a national fairy tale twisted into a whodunit.
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