The sequel to Nova’s outstanding The Good Son follows the next generations of Mackinnons into the present. Nova writes with sensitivity and subtlety as he evokes the complex family ties that divide and unite. Powerful, witty, evocative of emotions and place. ~ Reviewed by Louise Jones
— Louise Jones
Originally published in 1982 to wide acclaim, The Good Son
remains Craig Nova's undisputed masterpiece. This classic explored the complicated entanglements of fathers and sons --expressed in the story of nouvue-riche father Pop Mackinnon, who used his wealth to manipulate his son Chip into the 'right' kind of marriage upon the young man's return from World War II.
Chip eventually gave up the love of his life and married to secure his future - and what were the consequences of that decision? All the Dead Yale Men
answers that question in telling the story of Frank Mackinnon, son of Chip, a prosecutor in Boston with a happy marriage and a daughter set to follow his footsteps into law school. Chip's death throws Frank into his family's legacy, where he must contend with the inheritance of the Mackinnon's beloved land and a bevy of secrets that dates back three generations. And when Frank's daughter Pia falls under the sway of local bad boy Aurlon Miller, his grief over his father's death triggers the family legacy of social standing and manipulation to begin anew, leading Frank to the darkest edges of what a father will do to protect the ones he loves. All the Dead Yale Men
examines the end of an era, how privilege and inheritance often crumble in the face of the modern world, a story enriched by the setting and mythology of Boston and its surroundings. The novel not only moves the Mackinnon's story forward but will recast historical elements of the classic novel as well, heralding the arrival of a new American classic.