How to Find Your Way in the Dark by Derek B. Miller [7/10]

How to Find Your Way in the Dark” is a coming-of-age tale with a dark patina. A year after the tragic death of his mother, thirteen-year-old Sheldon sees his father killed beside him after being run off the road by a malevolent thug, and the resourceful teenager embarks on a journey of revenge and growth. Set in the northeast states of America in the lead-up and start of World War II, author Derek B. Miller brilliantly evokes a fraught, gaudy time. Miller is an exuberant stylist with a knack for bantering dialogue, and most scenes, even the violent ones, are laced with comedic touches. I was reminded of the expansive sagas of E.L. Doctorow, embedding complex lives in rich historical settings, only more gung ho. Overall, this is a fast-paced, immersive read diminished only slightly by the author’s love of all his characters and settings, sometimes at the expense of tautness. If you enjoy memorable, resourceful heroes, embrace How to Find Your Way in the Dark.

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