Michele Smith feels like an outcast in her family. Dispite that, she’s a smart, successful woman who has made her own family circle. She had it all until one day when her world turned upside down with the unexpected death of her only child.
Now that her husband of eight years is leaving her, Michele finds herself struggling with despondence as it sends her wheeling down the dark path of grief.
Forced to attend the yearly family reunion by her overbearing mother only exacerbates Michele's feelings of loneliness as those same old feelings of being an outcast resurface, allowing her to wallow deeper inside her despair.
But it’s actually here among kinfolk that Michele will have her eyes opened to what family truly means. In her search for solitude, what Michele finds instead is something she never thought she would receive, forgiveness.
The Things They Carried won France's prestigious Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize; it was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.