A Hunger in the Heart 

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It is 1955 Florida, and Kaye Park Hinckley’s debut novel, A Hunger in the Heart, brings it alive with memorable flawed characters who all desire something. Sarah Neal longs for her husband, Putt, a WWII hero with a traumatic brain injury, to be like he was before the war. Because he can’t be, she fills her longing with whiskey. Coleman, their son, needs his father and wants his mother’s love and affection. C.P., the B.O.S.S. of Gator Town, Florida, and Putt’s dad and Coleman’s grandfather, wants everything to be normal, and he yearns for his dead wife’s forgiveness. They all must learn how to live through tragedy and treachery when Putt is accused of a heinous crime. Fig, the gardener, with commonsense wisdom explains to Coleman, “. . . a hero makes a choice to put somebody else ahead of himself,” and Anna, Coleman’s first love, teaches him the most valuable lesson of all. This is a story, ultimately, of hope and love: How we find it and thrive in even the darkest circumstances.

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