Cal, Harlan, and Buddy grow up together in a small Virginia town in the years before the second World War. United by age, proximity, and temperament, they get into—and out of—all the trouble that boys manage to find. They even earn a nickname from a local restaurateur who gives the boys their first jobs and plenty of friendly advice. “Uncle” Vic calls them the Mulligans, because they always seem to find a way through a thicket of trouble—family problems, girls, college, war—to success. Cal and Harlan and Buddy have been blessed with second chances.
Now it’s 1959, and police lieutenant Buddy receives an early-morning phone call: his friend Harlan, a store owner, has been shot in a break-in. Cal, now a preacher, meets Buddy at the hospital, and together, as professionals and as friends, they begin to unravel what might have happened to Harlan.
The friendships that Cal, Harlan, and Buddy form in their childhood, continue through their teen years and into their adulthood. The reader follows the trio as they get into trouble, find love, marry, and go off to war. Friendships evolve and mature. The story opens when Harlan gets shot. The author intertwines the three backstories with the current shooting mystery, making an interesting plot.
I connected to each of the friends and to Uncle Vic. I was a teen in the 50's, and I remember when grown-ups took an active role in raising any youngster within reach, much like Uncle Vic. (I especially enjoyed the coke bottles escapade exchange.)
Don Reid of the Statler Brothers writes as well as he sings! Discussion questions included.
Thank you to Bonnie at Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and David C. Cook for my copy.
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