The Grace That Keeps This World

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The Grace That Keeps This World, by Tom Bailey, is an enthralling novel about the Hazen family who have lived in Lost Lake their whole lives. In this novel Kevin Hazen, a young man of 19, is searching for where he belongs in the world and in his own family. He wants more for his life than the life of survival that his parents have lived their whole lives. The story of the Hazen family is centered around the first day of deer season. For the Hazens, this hunt is more than just a sport. They use the meat of every deer they shoot to help them survive through the winter.

Traditionally Kevin, his Father, Gary Hazen, and his brother, Gary David, all go out on the first hunt together at two in the morning after a breakfast of homemade pancakes, but this year is different. Kevin wants to break free from the life of his family and doesn't want to go on the hunt with his father and brother. He can't comprehend why his father is so set in his ways and Kevin doesn’t want to live his father's life. Gary is a forester and finds it important to work hard to most provide for his family and to conserve nature. Kevin, like most kids, doesn’t understand his fathers way of thinking, and wants to live his own life. A life away from Lost Lake. Kevin attempts to break free of his fathers lifestyle by attending a nearby college, in hopes to eventually become teacher. Gary isn't happy with his son's decision to go to school and Kevin can't understand his fathers views, which causes the two to butt heads throughout the novel. But a tragic accident suddenly leaves Kevin fighting for his and his fathers lives. Having to use the knowledge and skills that his father had taught Kevin suddenly suddenly realizes his dad was right after all.

Bailey tell...

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...ce with his family. He continues to study and work towards reaching his dream, but he begins working hard to support his family. He understands why his dad tried to teach him all of the things he felt were pointless or unfair. Just like when Odysseus finally makes it home to his family, Kevin finds his way home to his. Although at first Kevin felt that home would be leaving Lost Lake and stepping away from his fathers lifestyle, he later found that he was wrong. This new home was unexpected, he would have never predicted this being the out come of his life. But never the less, he was home. Our Odysseus, in The Grace That Keeps This World, goes through struggles, but in the end finds his way home. Bailey ingeniously writes his novel as a modern-day odyssey, with our tragic hero Kevin pushing through all of the problems that come his way to return home in the end.
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