The Group Home
by David Seila and Michael Skubal
Henschel Haus Publishing

"Predators sometimes wait in ambush. Other times, that same predator will just lift her skirt or unbutton an extra button on her blouse."

Sometimes stability can only be found through movement. David is a long-haul trucker, a wounded warrior whose home base cruises on the eighteen wheels of a Peterbilt. On the road behind him is a childhood where his abusive father once sat at the top of the food chain until his son reversed the roles and became the predator. At another stop on that road is a group home, a constantly churning cauldron of teenage hormones and hurt that scarred him in ways that at times equaled and at other times surpassed what he had experienced as an M.P. in Iraq. But perhaps the most personally devastating moment in time he left behind him holds the girl in the rain, a young woman he will spend years trying to find again.

In their haunting and thought-provoking novel the authors probe into the lives and losses of the damaged ones among us. While David is the main character and much of the focus is on him, the book is peopled with many others, often revealed in one or two page sketches, whom he encounters along the way. Most are residents of the group home, troubled teens who are charted on paper by the staff in regard to their affect, mood, participation, and behavior, but who have often worked to define themselves through the lenses of violence and sexuality. And then there is Rebecca, the girl in the rain, who it seems has been searching as hard for David as he has been for her.

The authors deftly blend philosophy, faith, social ills, and romance into a poignant and deeply moving novel. Their book reminds us of the pain far too many young people experience behind society's facade.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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