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San Francisco, 1968: Jeannie and Kip are bereaved and adrift, their mother dead under mysterious circumstances, and their father--a decorated World War II veteran--consumed by guilt and losing control of his teenage children. Kip, a dreamer and swaggerer prone to small-time trouble, enlists with the Marines to fight in Vietnam. Jeannie finds a seemingly safe haven in early marriage to a doctor and motherhood.
But when Kip is accused of a terrible military crime, Jeannie is seduced--sexually, emotionally, politically--into joining an underground antiwar organization. As Jennie attempts to save her brother, her search for the truth leads her into two dangerous relationships, with a troubled young woman and a grievously wounded veteran, that might threaten her marriage, her child, and perhaps her life.
This is the story of a family caught in the maelstrom of sweeping change, where social customs and traditional values are overturned by events that will transform America. An emotionally wrenching and morally complex novel, The Outside Lands is Hannah Kohler's powerful, confident debut and announces her as a remarkable new literary talent.