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What if you never grew up?

Not in a magical Peter Pan sense or anything like that – you aged, you moved from being a child to an adult, you got a job and a life, but you simply never … grew up. You never crossed whatever indefinable thresholds necessary to live a grown-up life.

What if your coming of age story happened when you were 47 years old?

Brock Clarke’s latest novel gives us just such a hero. “Who Are You, Calvin Bledsoe?” (Algonquin, $26.95) features a titular hero who winds up venturing forth on a better-late-than-never journey where he’s finally confronted with the simple truth that he doesn’t really know who he is. Swept up into a whirlwind by an unexpected relative, whisked away to locales far more exotic than his small-town upbringing could ever have prepared him for.

It’s about figuring out which parts of you are the ones that matter and learning not to worry so much about the parts that don’t. It’s about coming to terms with a life lived on the path of least resistance and making the decision to let things be hard. It’s about family and faith and the nature of love.

Oh, and there’s a lot of John Calvin in here too.

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