Eighteen-year-old Khalil Khouri leaves his home overlooking Bethlehem in the West Bank to seek work in Amman, Jordan. Discouraged, he turns to go home, but it is 1967, the year of the Six-Day War. The bridge crossing the Jordan River is bombed. The rising sun reveals its remains. The rushing river drowns the broken stone supports and twisted steel triangles. Israeli soldiers prevent anyone from crossing to the West Bank. Khalil has lost the address of his American pen pal, Edwin Kirby. He has thing. Told by Palestinians, Kosovars, Iraqis, and Americans, The Lives We Knew depicts the resilience of the human spirit and the possibility of finding kindred spirits almost anywhere.
Phil Miller, a native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, studied at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth and Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Now retired from the Air Force, he also completed the Air Command and Staff College and Air War College. His occupations have included pastoral ministry, military chaplaincy, massage therapy, and nonprofit administration. His first book, Benjamin in the Forest: 80 Chattahoochee Tales features conversations between a young boy and his Grandpa about trees, birds, and bugs in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. The stories in that book previously appeared on his blog, Berry Thorns. Phil is the husband of Paula, father of Hope and Emily, and grandfather of Sterling and Julian. He lives in a mountain forest near Blue Ridge, Georgia.