Paul asked:

This was a powerful book that asks what kind of god would brutalize children and adults home (polio) and abroad (WWII). This story takes place in 1945 after our invasion of Normandy and paints an apt portrait of the terrifying uncertainty of a pre-vaccine reality. What kind of person lives through this reality and how does is constitute them?

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Jeanne Mixon The book answers that question. The narrator did live through exactly the same circumstances but because the narrator is not so invested in the physical and the toxic masculinity that traps Bucky, he is able to marry and live a productive and happy life. The point of the book is that a flexible mind that is not looking for blame or God to answer questions but sees chance and bad luck that can be overcome will persevere. Bucky is caught in his self loathing and hatred of God and cannot rise up and give in to Marcia's love. It's all there in the last section of the book.
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