Over the span of fifty years, one close knit group of friends from the small town of Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania remain true to their vow to stay connected whether near or far. No matter where the road has taken them, they can always come together for Thanksgiving. This is the poignant saga that mines the deep bonds, life choices, and emotional revelations of the closest of friends through the best of times and the worst of times in small town America. This tender, absorbing story is certain to appeal to anyone who relishes an intimate portrait of Baby Boomers as they parse the past and forge a new future.
The story begins in 1963 in picturesque Clarks Summit, as Alex Flynn prepares to reunite with his high school friends who have dispersed far and wide after graduation. Among them are the soul-searching Danny Fredrick and his date Ida Freeman; the forthright Jerry Weaver; the bookish Phil Whitman; the pretty, well-to-do Nancy Bishop; the hard-working Johnny Thompson and his girlfriend Melody; and the earnest Tommy Wilkinson. Some, like Danny and Nancy, have begun to shift their worldview in response to their college experiences and the country’s escalating involvement in the Vietnam. Others, like enlisted friends Jerry and Tommy, are gaining a vastly different perspective.
Throughout five decades, their vantages vastly diverge, but their commitment to the lasting ties of friendship remains. To reunite, each of them makes every effort to meet at Shadowbrook on the morning of Thanksgiving to raise a glass, have a laugh, reconnect, and reflect on their own paths. As a breakfast tradition, they record their current thoughts into a diary, which captures their frame of mind as well as the new era. Tommy, for example, shares his description of his tour in Vietnam: “That was the living hell of Vietnam, a remote world to be understood only by those who experienced it…. If you’re lucky you won’t get wounded, but you will see a lot who are wounded and killed. Healthy, fun loving, good-looking guys. Some will go home in body bags, some without arms or legs, many broken and disfigured. You may not even remember their names, but you will never forget their faces.”
With rich humor, heart, and hometown authenticity, THE THANKSGIVING BREAKFAST celebrates the lasting bonds we all create and how friendships can buoy and strengthen you through the most complex days. It’s a must for anyone who relishes a well-crafted story for the ages.