What We Lost by Dale Peck
What We Lost by Dale Peck, faculty, Creative Writing at The New School
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2003
Barnes & Noble: In the haunting new book by the acclaimed author of Now It’s Time to Say Goodbye, a young man must choose between his troubled family and the new home he loves. Dale Peck, Sr., grew up poor in rural Long Island in the 1950s, sharing a one-room house with seven brothers and sisters, an abusive mother, and an alcoholic father haunted by his past. When, at fourteen, Dale is more or less kidnapped by his father and taken to his uncle’s farm in upstate New York, the change wrought by the move is remarkable. Thriving on the farm, Dale develops a loving relationship with his uncle Wallace, and for the first time he knows contentment. But when Dale’s mother demands that he return, he is forced to choose between his broken family and the land and uncle he has come to love. It is a decision that will determine his future and the legacy he will pass on to his own son. What We Lost is a coming-of-age story that startles in its immediacy and lack of sentimentality. Refracting his father’s past through the prism of his own vivid imagination, the author Dale Peck forges a bridge between generations and reveals the dark secrets at the heart of family.