Steven Armour, a disaffected ad man in his forties, is at a crossroads: his marriage is fizzling, his career is at a standstill, and he’s obsessed by the man he might have become if he’d married the woman who still haunts him. But life takes an unexpected turn for Steven when, on a whim, he joins a local group of Civil War reenactors. Assigned to portray Private John Trow, Steven is soon consumed by Trow’s life to the point where he begins to suspect that he’s come back from the past. And maybe, thinks Steven, that’s not such a bad thing.


“Wondrous, wry, and moving…What makes the novel such a joy isn’t simply Dyja’s presentation of the culture of re-enactment, it’s the way Steven’s interest becomes an obsession…One revelation after another, from Steven’s discovery of who John Trow really was to his future with the woman with whom he has been having an affair in the guise of a union solider. Powerful [and]…as surprising as it is poignant.”
–Chris Bohjalian, author of The Sandcastle Girls

“Thomas Dyja has created a modern archetype in Steven Armour, a man in desperate need of some authenticity in his life who, in the end, gets more authenticity than he bargained for.”
–Jonathan Dee, author of The Privileges

“Unfolds like a new-millennium Babbitt with a supernatural twist…and explores the very nature of identity. A.”
–Entertainment Weekly

“Superb…Equal parts historical drama, ghost story, romance and mystery…this is a vital critique of millennial malaise.”

“[T]he best book on obsession and the crisis of middle age since Nabokov set his pedophile loose.”
–Miami Herald