Picks and Pans Review: Meet John Trow
Steven Armour has what many want: wife and two kids, quaint New England home, a reasonably good job, even a Lincoln Navigator. If only he could order a sense of purpose from the L.L. Bean catalog. "I should be better than what I am, " he keeps thinking. As an escape from the age of the remote control, he becomes a Civil War reenactor.
Wrapping himself in the persona of sober Union Pvt. John Trow, though, turns out to be full of time-bending surprises in this superb second novel. Equal parts historical drama, ghost story, romance and mystery, the narrative will make even readers start to feel schizophrenic. The ending is perhaps a little too neat for such a psychologically harrowing ride, but this is a vital critique of millennial malaise. (Viking, $24.95)
Bottom Line: Grand Union