Released on 13 July 2017.

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The Reason You're Alive

4.02 based on 1768 ratings & 367 reviews on


When sixty-eight-year-old Vietnam War veteran David Granger wakes up from emergency surgery, he finds himself repeating a name: Clayton Fire Bear, a soldier from whom he stole something long ago. And now, David knows he must make amends. It might be the only way to find happiness in a world increasingly at odds with the one he served to protect, and it might also help him recover from the loss of the wife he grieves for every day.

Motivated by his adoring young granddaughter, Ella, David sets out to confront his past in order to salvage his present. Grumpy and argumentative he may be, but ultimately The Reason You're Alive challenges us to look beyond our own prejudices and search for the good in others.

In the media

A valuable addition to fiction about the tangled aftereffects of Vietnam on soldiers in the field
Scorching family drama . . . narrated with ire and eloquence by David Granger, a Vietnam vet . . . It’s as if Holden Caulfield grew up to be a reflective, even soulful, Archie Bunker. David’s voice is intimate, personal, occasionally poetic and sensible, even sympathetic . . . the force of David’s voice is electric . . . a touching, old-fashioned drama about the ties that sometimes choke, but always bind
A compact powerhouse of a novel . . . subversive, unexpected, and utterly compelling