In this book, the author weaves together the stories of a young soldier shot down in the Korean War, and the reverberations of that event nine years later for a small, unconventional family in West Virginia. The two title characters are Lark, a seventeen-year-old girl, and the first-born daughter of the young soldier's wife from a previous relationship, and "Termite," the girl's younger half-brother and son of the fallen soldier. Lark and Termite are being raised by their aunt, although it is mostly Lark who raises and cares for Termite, who was born with spina bifida and hydrocephaly. The relationship between the siblings is one of great love and tenderness.
I'm still trying to decide how much I liked this book. I wanted to love it, to come away thinking "this is one of the best books I've ever read," in part because of the National Book Award Finalist sticker on the cover, and in part because the story involves a little boy with disabilities, for which I have a tender spot. But in truth, I had some trouble with this book because it took a great deal of concentration to decipher the prose, which is told in a sort of an eerie, dream-like narrative.
It's a good story . . . maybe not exactly my cup of tea, but it's gotten wonderful reviews. Anyone who wants my copy, let me know.