Francis Cassavant is eighteen and returning from World War II to his hometown. He is the not-so-proud recipient of a Silver Star for falling on a live grenade and saving a bunch of soldiers. In the process, Francis lost most of his face.
He hasn't returned to settle down or seek out old friends. Francis has come back with only one goal in mind: to find and kill another Silver Star winner, Larry LaSalle, a man who had shaped Francis' childhood and is now his most bitter enemy.
There are many reasons why Francis takes no pride in his Silver Star and why he wants to rid the world of LaSalle. The reader discovers these reasons slowly in flashbacks and internal monologues.
Like most of Cormier's books, this isn't a happy story, though it does end on a slightly positive note. And again, like his other books, it will make you think about the nature of heroism and personal responsibility. I recommend this book for ages 12 and up.