- 288 Pages
- March 5, 2024
- ISBN: 9781956763980
- Trim Size: 6in x 9in x 0in
A moving novel about the devotions of friendship and the power of love to heal, American Sycamore celebrates the American experiment and the importance of giving a damn.
Rob Barrow’s devotion to the American experiment has never wavered. For forty years he has devoted his legal brilliance to advancing the essential American ideals enshrined by the Founders. Rob is the best kind of throwback—a classic American character, reserved and respectful, yet with a fierce determination to protect the people and ideas that matter most. Rob stands his ground. He does not yield to the ridicule of malign political forces, nor to the mounting challenges of aging—loss, grief, even an invasion of rogue cells.
While AMERICAN SYCAMORE is Rob’s story, it is also the story of his beloved wife Julia, an author who believes America has lost her way and seeks to understand why. It is the story of their dearest friend, Dr. Ray Witter, a battlefield surgeon in Vietnam and now the medical school dean. When we first meet Rob, Julia, and Ray in graduate school during the 1970s, they are on the idealistic mission to make things right in America. A sense of purpose animates their lives while a commitment to each other powers them through the decades strengthening their bond along the way.
AMERICAN SYCAMORE celebrates what ennobles and buoys us—always welcome, but especially so in these mad times. The novel will appeal to readers of literary fiction and upmarket commercial fiction including character-driven mysteries. This is a novel for readers drawn to complex characters facing life’s challenges with grace and the power of shared love and friendship. It is a story that unfolds on several different levels with surprising twists and turns and, ultimately, a mystery at the heart of the matter.
“A gripping novel that reflects the turbulence in American life and the challenges of the American experiment. I found it riveting.”—Ben Bradlee Jr., Pulitzer Prize–winning editor of the Boston Globe Spotlight team (the basis for Oscar best picture, Spotlight)
"With American Sycamore Charles Kenney has given us a deeply moving and engrossing story about life in America today. His portrait of Rob and Julia Barrow and their closest friend, Dr. Ray Witter, is flawless, and Kenney seamlessly navigates us through their losses, tears, and triumphs, through the obstacles of living with cancer, dealing and dueling with academic ‘wokeism,’ and a decades-old case of medical malpractice. The rewards are in reading this treasure of a novel.”—Mike Barnicle, MSNBC, Morning Joe
“A profound chronicle of our time. It is also an exquisite rendering of hope and the invincible power of love between husband and wife, even in the face of unthinkable personal tragedy.”—Barbara Delinsky, New York Times bestselling author
“Wonderful and especially apt for these times, American Sycamore celebrates resilience, humanity, and grace. Let’s hope this novel is widely read and that its generosity of spirt is highly contagious.”—Bob Kerrey, former US Senator, Navy SEAL, and Medal of Honor recipient
"Charles Kenney's novel American Sycamore is a brilliant and intense chronicle of human resilience in the face of tragedy. . . . [It is a story where] the human spirit prevails . . . a story of healing and inspiration for all of us."—General (Retired) Mark A. Milley, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
“Profoundly moving. With this deeply personal novel Kenney delivers an unflinching and unforgettable love story.”—Deborah Kosofsky, senior producer, Today
“In American Sycamore, Charles Kenney pulls off a feat few novelists attempt and even fewer achieve. He tells a remarkably powerful story tightly focused on three characters––a married couple and their best friend––as one of them battles cancer and simultaneously unfolds a much more sweeping saga that vividly captures the current historical moment as a generation faces its reckoning. This is storytelling operating on all cylinders. I found American Sycamore hard to put down; and for weeks afterward, impossible to forget.”—Dayton Duncan, author and filmmaker
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