This is a beautifully tragic story set in Minnesota during the summer of 1961.
Frank, the narrator, is a young boy of 13, his father is the local minister, his mother is the very talented choir director and accompanist at the church. There's his younger brother Jake, his beautiful and talented, Julliard bound sister, Ariel, the family friend Gus, Ariel's rich, privileged boyfriend Karl and the rest of the characters in the town. The summer starts with the death of young Bobby Cole, followed closely with the death of an unnamed itinerant. We are warned though, that there will be three more deaths this summer, one of which hits Frank's family pretty hard.
The story, which could have been quite depressing but is far from it, is beautifully told and conjures vivid images of small town life and the angst and confusion that comes with being young and confused, especially in light of all the goings on in town that summer. The story is complete and while my suspicions for the outcome were correct, the path to the outcome was far from cliché and quite believable.
Loved this book!!!