The Tree House
A novel by Douglas Thayer
When Harris Thatcher's father dies, the boy's journey into manhood becomes complicated with questions of faith, the meaning of life, and the capriciousness of death. Harris soon finds himself preaching the Mormon gospel as one of the first missionaries to West Germany following the devastation of World War II. Little does he know that his own war horrors await him upon his return home, when he is drafted into the Korean War.
Starting out in the same 1940s-era Provo, Utah, that Thayer brought to life in his memoir Hooligan: A Mormon Boyhood, this novel deepens and darkens as Harris is drawn into his harrowing Korean ordeal. Will he survive the war, not only physically but also emotionally and spiritually? And if he does survive, what other trials does death hold in store?
"I was totally engrossed in The Tree House. The depictions of Harris growing up in Provo, serving an LDS mission in post-war Germany, and fighting in the Korean War are excellently crafted. I've never read a better or more gripping treatment of men at war. Thayer's characters and places are real; they are alive. This novel is literature, and reading it is a splendid experience."
—Richard Cracroft, BYU professor of English, emeritus