This is the story of former Sergeant Lauren Clay, a woman soldier returned from Iraq, and her beloved younger brother Danny, who is obsessed with Arctic exploration and David Bowie. Until she went into the military Lauren was the protector and provider for both Danny and her dysfunctional father after her mother left them. Lauren is home in time to spend Christmas with Danny and her father, who is delighted to have her back but reluctant to acknowledge that something feels a little strange. As she reconnects with her small-town life in upstate New York, it soon becomes apparent that things are not as they should be. And soon an army psychologist is making ever-more frantic attempts to reach her.
All the characters that interact with Lauren are interesting and believable in their own right. The statistics on the lives of returned servicemen and women in America are chilling; I hope Australian veterans have better support. This is a quiet thoroughly intriguing book to read and hard to put down - you know something is wrong and you keep wondering what she is going to do, or has done. Highly recommended.