The Ha-Ha by David Kind

This was today's book club book. We had a good discussion. I am glad I read it. ha-ha |ˈhä ˌhä; ˌhä ˈhä| noun a ditch with a wall on its inner side below ground level, forming a boundary to a park or garden without interrupting the view. ORIGIN early 18th cent.: from French, said to be from the cry of surprise on suddenly encountering such an obstacle.

Howard is a wounded Vietnam vet who is living in the old family home and renting out rooms to make ends meet. His brain injury has left him unable to read, write or speak. Sylvia, Howard's high school girlfriend dumps her 9 year old son Ryan with Howard when she goes off to rehab. The story is about the group forming a kind of family unit and what happens when Sylvia takes Ryan home.