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Rules for Old Men Waiting by Peter Pouncey
The old man in Rules for Old Men Waiting is Robert MacIver, a retired man mourning the loss of his wife and a meaning to his life. He lives in a house on Cape Cod that is "older than the Republic" and may be falling apart worse than he is. MacIver devises a series of rules to make himself productive again, and he sets to writing a novel about the war in the trenches during World War I. He's a World War I historian, and his father fought in that war. He fought in World War II and his son went to Vietnam. As we writes his novel, his own story emerges with parallels to the novel. His life was defined by these wars and by the woman whose love held everything together for him. This debut novel by Peter Pouncey, a retired classics professor from Columbia, has received positive reviews. BookPage says, "The bittersweet juxtaposition of love and loss, of a life fiercely lived that is now slinking away, makes for a deeply moving, elegantly told story."