Lots of good reviews on this one but for some reason, I wasn’t thrilled with Four Years From Home. I wanted to be, I always want to be but the way this story unfolds just didn’t cut it for me. I’m glad I finished the book but I can’t totally recommend it to others.
Tom Ryan is the oldest son of the Ryan clan. A complete bully since childhood, Tom continues his brutish behavior well into adulthood. His younger brother, Harry, is the pride and joy of the Ryans. When some bad news is received from Kenyon College in Ohio, where Harry is a student, Tom, as the oldest makes the 150 mile drive thru the snow during Christmas holidays to find out exactly what is happening. Nod bad, so far, but this is where I think the story bogs down..
Tom fancies himself on a quest, much like he did as a bossy child when he convinced others to throw snowballs at cars which he explained to his cohorts were actually Nazi troop transports. Author Enright pauses in the journey for the truth about Harry every 4 or 5 pages to have Tom play out in his head another fictional battle with Nazi troops. These “sidebar sagas” probably take up half the book and were a distraction to me from the real point of the story. It almost seemed the book could have had easily 100 less pages if not for these “imaginings”.
There is a surprise ending to this story that many reviewers enjoyed so this book obviously has appeal to a great many people. I’m just not one of them. I give it ** ½ generous stars.