Post-war Eden

Fred Setterberg’s Lunch Bucket Paradise: A True-Life Novel is a masterfully told story that fuses photographs, fact-based chapter transitions, history and fiction into a narrative that spans the post-World War II era through the Vietnam War. Readers will react with laughter, anger and perhaps tears during comic-book trades, the election—and assassination—of a president, and the draft. The book’s eight chapters are each complete stories that recall times of innocence in the midst of great change, of dreams, violence and possibility. Part memoir and part fiction, the book opens with “Children of Ike” and the selling of home ownership to people who “possess ample credit thanks to the G.I. Bill and the FHA,” and who recall Depression-era foreclosures. It ends with the narrator walking his hometown streets, believing he knew what his parents must have felt during “their pioneer years” with “the sky so full of promise.”