There are two parallel stories taking place nine years apart. The first follows Corporal Robert Leavitt as he falls victim to the No Gun Ri massacre during the Korean War. (If you are as ignorant of the Korean war as I am and have never heard of No Gun Ri--read this article from Time or check the No Gun Ri archives out of the University of Albany to get up to speed.)
|"Massacre in Korea" by Pablo Picasso|
Pretty soon it becomes evident that author has tied together an interesting family mystery that bridges time and place (did you pick up on the whole bridge symbolism going on here?). The language is beautiful, the plot is intriguing and I love that we spend a chapter in each character's head--even Termite's.
I haven't read any other Jayne Anne Phillips books, but her style reminds me a bit of Shirley Hazzard (along with the whole waiting years and years between publications--which is good, because you know she's been really been crafting them).
*I also read In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin, my review is here. I read and didn't review Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann which was the winner that year. (I hadn't yet developed the gumption to review books I didn't like and now it's been nearly a year and so my thoughts on the book are kind of fuzzy.)