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Six-year-old Hainey woke one morning to a knock on the door of his family's house in Chicago; Hainey's uncle delivered the news that Michael's 35-year-old father, Bob, a reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, had been found dead of an apparent heart attack. What happened to him? Why had he been out so late and not at home? Bob Hainey's obituary indicates that the newspaperman was visiting friends; who were these friends? In this heartfelt memoir, Hainey painfully reconstructs the few years he recalls with his father and painstakingly searches for clues that might help him understand his father's death. When he turns 35, Hainey sets off on a quest to interview as many of his father's friends as will talk to him, to review all the published details of his father's death, and to discover what his father was really like. Along the way, "instead of conjuring my father dying alone, he sees this alternate, secret narrative: him, friends, far from home, late at night...." Eventually, he discovers a disturbing secret that his mother has long kept silent, grappling to understand this new dimension of his parents' lives and resigning himself to having discovered a side of his father he never knew. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
When Hainey was 6, his father, a 35-year-old copydesk editor for the Chicago Sun-Times, died of an apparent heart attack on the street on his way home from work. Hainey's uncle, also a newspaperman, came to the family home to deliver the news to his brother's wife and two sons. While his father lived on in scrapbooks, his mother cobbled together a life for them, and Hainey grew into his father's profession, becoming a reporter with a relentless sense that something was missing from the story of his father's death. As he approached the age at which his father died, Hainey began an investigation, talking to family members and his father's friends and colleagues. Hainey slowly pieces together his father's last years and the secrets of his life, breaking through a code of silence that respected a dead man's legacy but understood the reporter's search for the truth. What would the truth mean for his family, for his mother and her curt explanations and gauzy memory? This is a beautifully written exploration of family bonds and the secrets that may test them.--Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2010 Booklist