Synopses & Reviews
"A completely original first novel ... reads like a collaboration between Nathanael West and Garrison Keillor, or David Lynch and Grandma Moses". (Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times on What's Eating Gilbert Grape)
Peter Hedges' debut novel and his screenplay for the subsequent film established him as a preeminent young American writer. Critics praised his quirky yet unmistakably real characters, his spare, radiant prose, and his ability to illuminate the unexpected within the ordinary.
In his second novel, Hedges again turns to the heartland for his setting -- this time suburban Iowa, 1969. Scotty Ocean is turning seven years old, and he has announced that seven is going to be his year. It does turn out to be his year -- but not the year he imagined. His mother abandons the family, and at first Scotty does astonishing things to get her to return. When he realizes she won't be coming back, he decides he must replace her. And when that proves impossible, he takes dramatic action to try to remain forever seven.
Hilariously funny and profoundly moving, An Ocean In Iowa is a timeless book about universal themes: the fragile contracts between parents and children, and what it really means to grow up.