At times this book kept me turning pages, and at times I was sure I'd give up and move on to something else. By the time I finished the book - which I likely wouldn't have done if it weren't a short offering - I wasn't sure whether I'd read something really powerful or wasted a few hours on something rather boring. The book jumps back and forth from the main character's present life as a 68-year-old, widowed recluse to traumatic events that occurred the summer he was 15. Those events still affect him, more now that he has chosen a solitary existence, but Petterson never tells us whether the character, Trond, confronts and comes to terms with these old demons. It seems Petterson set up what might have been a far more interesting psychological study and then squandered the opportunity.