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Lamb of God: a novel of the love and sacrifice of two brothers

339 pages5 hours


I’m Michael Tether. LAMB OF GOD is my story, though that title describes my twin, Joe. He was killed just before the end of World War II—in the kitchen of our upper flat in Detroit. He was eleven. Mom and Dad and I were all there. But I was the only one who could have saved him.
But I did have a life before that turning point. There were some great times then as we made a playground out of war-frenzied Detroit. They called our hometown The Arsenal of Democracy. And I guess it was. What a wild place during The War. Our father taught us the rights and wrongs of the race riots, even though we lived in the wrong part of town. We learned that white was right, no matter where you live. If only his hatred could have been consumed on the world outside our family, we might have had a chance. But his temper and rage seemed to merge on his family.
The "we" includes our little sister, Susie. All three of us were victims of our parents, though in very different ways. But when the three of us were together—that time was so special and memorable. I'll tell you about those happy and sometimes crazy adventures. And I'll tell you about our wonderful, wonderful grandpa—our rosary-selling, window-washing, horse-and-wagon-driving, and most of all, loving, grandpa. If only he hadn't been so weak. He was no match for Father and Mother. And yet without his love, I can't imagine any of us kids surviving. I guess I inherited my weakness from him. But not his love.
And then there's my mother's fanatic Old Testament mission to make me a general in her crusade against Satan. Why couldn't she see that Joe was the real soldier? What a fighter! What a brother! Did I tell you he died? For me?
LAMB OF GOD is kind of a war story, but with no guns. A year after Joe's murder, I was the only one left in our family. I wasn't sure I wanted to survive. But I did—on my aunt and uncle's farm north of Detroit. My new family saved me. You'll meet Lily and Margo, my saviors. Lily's a man. Margo's just a girl. But somehow I could confess my past—my sins—only to her.
Finally, you'll return to Detroit with me a half century later to make peace with those ghosts and my lifelong guilt, and to forgive and find forgiveness, and maybe happiness and hope. That was my second salvation. And yes, Lily, Margo, Susie, and my mother all figured in it. I found out that you can't be happy without a future. All those years, all I had was a past. And what a past.

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