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What is Descent from the Hill about? Is it for me?

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This is the most common question that people ask me and in doing so they are questioning whether the book is someting they will like. That’s certainly understandable, so let’s see what it’s about and then you decide if you might like to read it:

Descent from the Hill is a coming of age story about a young patrician New Englander whose life becomes intertwined with those of his 3 college roommates and their families starting in 1960 and throughout the ensuing years. The story unfolds against a backdrop of actual historical events that are referenced at the end of the book. After graduation from a college they call The Hill, they experience life in an era plagued by world shaking chaos-war, drugs, rebellion, abortion, and more. As time passes, they find themselves victimized by historical events they were familiar with but which they never suspected would impact their lives to such a great extent. When tyranny and betrayal by government despots and god-brokers upend their lives, the plot boils over with startling discoveries that create a dramatic finale.

Descent from the Hill describes a journey made by members of the baby boom generation. It’s a journey during which the characters’ lives are touched by current events, historical events, and the prior acts of their parents-acts committed in the name of survival, but acts that will haunt them and their children until all family members confront them.

WHY SHOULD WE KNOW MORE ABOUT BABY BOOMERS?

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They’re an aging bunch. Many will retire soon (if they can). Emerging dinosaurs–that’s all they are–so why should anyone care about what happened to them and what they did about it? It’s a valid question, but there are good reasons to learn from what happened to the boomers and what they did about it.

First of all, we MUST learn from history or we are doomed to repeat its mistakes–or something like that. The bigger problem is that few learn from history because few read history and even fewer of those who read history retain much of what they read. And therein lies the benefit of reading historical fiction: when you read fiction that’s based on actual events you get to see an author’s concept of how people might have been changed by what was going on and how they may have changed the status quo. It’s far more enlightening than reading a history book to pass a test.

Then consider that there are about 80,000,000 baby boomers in America today, and these same individuals created the world we live in today. They represent the transition between “old” and “new” because the boomers built the bridge that connected the two and created a cultural earthquake in the process. Prior to the 1950’s, life was different. We fought wars because we’d been attacked. Black people were called Negroes and had no civil rights. Few women worked and even fewer thought about burning their bras. There was no birth control pill and sexual liberation was considered morally felonious. Abortion was a crime and orphanages were plentiful. No president in recent history, and certainly no president who represented so much to so many, had been assassinated.

So think about these issues when you read Descent from the Hill–and afterwards. It’s all there–and then some.