"On the farm we were isolated, self-sufficient, and protected from the outside world."

On Easter Sunday in 1992, the author's brother, sister-in-law, and niece were killed in their home in Fresno, California. As the family tries to decipher this horrendous act, they find, to their dismay, that the killer was closer to the family than they could have ever imagined. Ewell pays homage to his murdered relatives in this memoir. As he contemplates what has happened to his family, he also remembers his early life on the family's Ohio farm with his three brothers and sister as a time of idyllic romps in the country. Ewell invites readers into his private life as he grows from child to man, graduates from law school, settles in the Fresno area, and works as a lawyer. Though horrible events plague his life, he credits the lessons of his father's homespun wisdom in helping him become successful.

Ewell's memoir is a well-written, intriguing look into an eventful life. Though the author's life is filled with tragedies and setbacks, his story is still uplifting. For example, he masterfully addresses his father's influence in his life, including his father's much-admired admonitions to his son: "You don't have to be the smartest; just work the hardest. A smile or a laugh can do wonders. Never give up." The author's book is a fascinating read that grabs one's attention from the first page and holds it until the end. Ewell is a gifted storyteller whose memoir is filled with colorful stories of the struggles he has faced. His poignant and often heartbreaking tale will undoubtedly appeal to fans of the genre.

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