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A Leg in Oklahoma City by Greg Hoetker - Book Review

2 min read
A Leg in Oklahoma City by Greg Hoetker - Book Review

Table of contents

⛰ What It's About (No Spoilers)

On April 19, 1995, the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City was bombed. The FBI found an unidentified leg from the rubble. This novel theorizes a possibility of how the leg got there and who it belonged to while creating a beautiful, tragic romance between two young adults.

🌟 Rating

5/5. (I may be biased. See below.)

🔍 How I Discovered It

My AP English Literature teacher is Greg Hoetker, the author. I looked up his name and found A Leg in Oklahoma City as one of the many books he has published.

🧠 Thoughts (Spoilers)

I didn’t know what to expect going into this book other than that it’s a romance with intimate scenes (as Hoetker warned me).

The prologue is confusing. It’s like a madman scribbling his thoughts down. You feel like you know, but you don’t know. It’s like you’re almost deciphering what he’s saying before you realize you’re missing something. Rereading it after having finished the book, it all makes sense. Regardless, I was intrigued after reading the prologue.

Tris, the main character, meets an Amish girl who is unnamed throughout the book’s entirety. We see them quickly fall in love for each other as they attempt to navigate through their lives.

What’s interesting is that the book kept me wanting to read even though there was nothing special about Tris or her lives. They were “normal” people, albiet Tris a bit more “normal” than her, and found love in a fairly normal way (although I don’t have much experience in that field, but I only suppose so).

The book feels like you’ve sat down with a grief-stricken man who’s still clinging to the past. Every now and then, Tris corrects his wording or adds asides that don’t necessarily add to the book's substance but give you the impression of a conversation. The writing is unconventional, but that’s the intriguing part about it. It’s not so unconventional to the point that it’s esoteric. It’s just different.

I liked how the romance plot was interwoven with the statements from the bomber and Tris going to watch the bomber’s execution. The romance was still the main focus, but the breaks gave the romance a bit of freshness.

At the end, I really hoped to learn her name. I guess the entire point is that no one knows except for Tris, and that’s something he wants to keep to himself, but I really wish he said it. It felt like I knew her, so I wanted to ascribe a name to her.

But she’ll always be “she” or “her.” And maybe that’s okay.

🥰 Who Would Like It?

If you like romance or historical fiction, you’ll like this book.

✍️ My Top 3 Quotes

But more than that, I just wanted to touch her, one more time. To hear the flutter of wings in her laughter. To smell her, all of her, the sweat and the lavender and the turpentine. To inhabit the same space.

That’s not what she had promised, but it was what she had said. And we had never told one another a single lie.

[Fernweh.] It means missing something you’ve never met. Like, a sickness for a place you’ve never been. Or a person you’ve never met.

Michel Liao

Michel Liao

Boise, Idaho, United States
Hello! I'm a sophomore studying computer science at Princeton. I like reading, rock climbing, and running.