It's 1979 and Tom Buzby is thirteen years old and living in the small working- class city of Chatham, Ontario. So far, so normal. Except that Tom's dad is the local tattoo artist, his mother is a born-again former stripper who's run off with the minister from the church where the pet store used to be, and his sister can't wait to leave town for good. And everyone along his daily newspaper route looks at him a little differently, this boy who's come back from the dead, who just might be the only one who understands the miraculous, heart-breaking mystery that is their lives. Set in the year that real newspaper headlines told of North America's hard turn to the right, 1979 offers a smalltown take on the buried lives of those who almost never make the news, and one boy's attempt to make sense of it all.