Author(s): Delia Falconer
THE LONG-AWAITED SECOND NOVEL FROM DELIA FALCONER, BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE SERVICE OF CLOUDS Georgia, 1898: Frederick Benteen, a captain in General Custer's Seventh Cavalry during the plains Indian wars, is reviewing his life. His General has been dead for more than twenty years, killed in action, considered a hero, while the public has never forgiven Benteen for surviving. Now, at last, he begins to put down some account of those two horrific days pinned down on a ridge. What follows is an exquisite eulogy for his fellow soldiers, both alive and dead, as Benteen refuses to bow to the demands of legend. As he begins to write, Benteen finds himself haunted by his lost companions: by Star-Gazer, who joined the army to write poems; mysterious Handsome Jack, who plays the banjo; gentle de Rudio, the bugler; Young Tom, who stands in Custer's shadow; and the Choir, a group of lost souls. Told over the space of a single morning, The Lost Thoughts of Soldiers is about death and dying, women and war, growing old, parenthood, friendship and soldierliness. It is about a nation's preoccupation with celebrity, and what, in the end, a life is worth.