I can't remember how I came upon this title, but I'm glad I did. This book had one of the most memorable characters I have ever read about. His name was Earl, but had the nickname of "Earwig." The story takes place during the 1940's and during World War II. Earwig's older brother Jimmy gets drunk one night and signs up for the National Guard. The next thing the family knows is he is being shipped out and fighting in the War. The story is about how his absence effects the family members and others in a small town in Wisconsin. Earwig is simpleminded, but what is wonderful about his character is that he can sometimes see and know more than the others around him. The book was well written and just a great story about family, friendship, and survival during difficult times in our lives. This was a great little find!