This is a masterfully-written novel, illuminating a difficult subject, and utilizing a variety of effective literary techniques. The plot is apparently based on the Simon Wiesenthal Foundation’s employment of a former skinhead, which is mentioned several times here. Prose’s “changed man,” Vincent Nolan, is a confused Nazi tattooed skinhead, a former member of the Aryan superiority movement ARM, who uses drugs and, among other questionable acts, has stolen property from his cousin and host, Raymond. He enters the office of the philanthropic World Brotherhood Watch Foundation, seeking to turn his life around. Then he ingratiates himself with the founder and head, Holocaust survivor Dr. Meyer Maslow, and is given a job to “‘help you guys save guys like me from becoming guys like me.’” All along, Vincent attempts to follow the precepts in a strange book he’d picked up somewhere, The Way of the Warrior.
Maslow persuades his assistant, Bonnie Kalen, a discarded wife raising two young boys alone, to let Vincent live in her home for his rehabilitation. This arrangement has ups and downs, particularly since Bonnie remains bothered by how her faithless husband has ill-used her. Prose explores the odd couple’s personalities and needs. A major crisis looms: Vincent’s wronged cousin will someday show up for revenge. It is intriguing to follow Bonnie, her domestic problems, and her developing attraction to Vincent. Prose’s literary style dominates, especially her method of revealing the characters’ thought processes. Her free use of idiom and coarse language also validate the story.