It's 1979 and Tom Buzby is thirteen years old and living in the small town of Chatham with his father and older sister. So far, so normal. But Tom's dad is the local tattoo artist, his older sister might be in love with the new girl in town, and his Mom ran off and shacked up with pastor Bob who runs a Christian evangelical sect. And no one looks at Tom the same since he was brought back from the dead that time when he was eight. Tom delivers the Chatham Daily News, and he can give you all the news that's fit to print about the folks around here. Set in the year that real newspaper headlines told of the rise of Reagan and Mulroney and North America's hard turn to the right, the year of the kidnapped American hostages in Iran and the end of the Western world's blessedly ignorant isolation, 1979 is a novel of innocence not so much lost as smashed, and experience gained the hard way, the kind that brands memories forever and permanently changes lives.