“You Can See More From Up Here” is a coming-of-age tale about the illusion of privilege and the power of the past to inform and possibly heal the present. The novel should appeal to readers of Elizabeth Strout’s “My Name is Lucy Barton” with its rural Illinois settings and family strife or the rural, coming-of-age story in Delia Owen’s “Where the Crawdads Sing.”
In 2004, when middle-aged Walker Maguire is called to the deathbed of his estranged father, his thoughts return to 1974. He’d worked that summer at the auto factory where his dad, an unhappily retired Air Force colonel, was employed as plant physician. Witness to a bloody fight falsely blamed on a Mexican immigrant, Walker kept quiet, fearing his white co-workers and tyrannical father. His secret snowballs into lies, betrayals and eventually the disappearance of the Mexican’s family, leading to a life-long rift between father and son that can only be mended by bringing 1974 back to life in 2004 to reveals its long-hidden truths.