In his first novel, John M. Millar, a veteran of Vietnam and a decorated US Army officer, tells the tale of members of several generations of the Paine family. They include five men who fought in America’s wars—from Robert Pinkerton Paine in WWI to Thomas Paine Sr. and Robert Treat Paine in WWII, and R. Treat Paine and Thomas Paine Jr. in Vietnam—and one woman, Joan Mensch Paine. Of Joan Paine the author says, “our Joan was the bravest of the Paines for her stand for peace against war. Millar takes the point of view of R. Treat Paine II—his real life contemporary—and embeds the history of the wars with the history of the dysfunctional Paine family. The narrator hasn’t spoken to his sister Joan in years and has hid the truth about his mother from his wife for the entirety of their relationship. And, yes, there’s more. Almost everyone in the family carries a secret, and those secrets and exactly how the twisted family tree unravels will keep the reader guessing. At a daunting 600 pages and weighing a hefty two pounds, The Wars Among the Paines is a formidable novel, but Millar uses the backdrop and familiarity of the 60s and 70s and spices pages with music of the era to inform and entertain along the way.