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Synopsis

Leaving Losapas begins on a tiny atoll in the equatorial Pacific. Leo Markin, a young US Marine and Vietnam combat veteran who survived the war, found himself so changed by the experience that he simply could not find a way to return to his home, family, and his fiancée in a working class city of his birth outside of Boston. The islanders in Losapas are kind to himhe had been living there for yearsand he had found a woman he came to love. Various events conspire to convince him to return to America, but on his return home he feels lost. He has troubling encounters with his aging father, finds that his fiancée has married another man and appears trapped in an abusive relationship, and his old friends seem like strangers to him. Leo is torn between the peaceful, natural way of life on the island, and the rougher rules of his upbringing. In the end, though he has sworn to turn his back on physical violence, it is an act of physical violence that convinces him the only place he can live is Losapas. When his father suddenly dies, Leo decides to leave the house he inherits to his former fiancéethus encouraging her to leave her husbandand he returns to the life he left behind and to his island lover. Publishers Weekly wrote, Merullo's beautifully realized first novel focuses on an ex-Marine, tortured by his memories of Vietnam, who must choose between his adopted Micronesian island home of Losapas and the Boston suburb where he grew up….What truly is his home?... The author handles these themes with expert care, and without a trace of mawkishness. And, Kirkus Reviews called it, Dazzling... thoughtful and elegant... lyrical yet tough-minded... beautifully written, quietly brilliant.

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