1. When and how did Hank's parents die?
Hank Mitchell's parents were killed in an auto accident the year after Hank married. Hank's wife Sarah believes that the wreck wasn't an accident but was Hank's father's way of escaping the enormous debts they'd accumulated. A week before the accident his father had brought Hank a load of furniture. Then he had given the old pickup to Hank's older brother Jacob.
2. Where does Jacob Mitchell live? Why does he meet with Hank in the beginning of Chapter One?
Jacob lives in Ashenville, Ohio, in an apartment over the hardware store. Their father's will requires that the brothers visit their parents' grave annually on their father's birthday. In 1987, Hank and Jacob head to the cemetery to fulfill their annual obligation. Hank has brought along his friend Lou and his dog, a part German Shepherd male named - ironically - Mary Beth.
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