What is Closing the Ring about?
Three intertwined stories of lost and unspoken love and the resulting secrets are presented. In one, which begins in 1941 Branagan, Michigan, twenty-one year old Ethel Ann socializes primarily with three male friends, who are all in love with her. She only loves one, Teddy Gordon, their mutual love known within the group. Her parents would never approve of Teddy, the poor country boy, who is building a house for her eventually to be able to show her parents that he is worth something in his love for her. Their relationship is interrupted by the U.S. entry into the war, into which all three men are going into battle. Before their departure, the three men enter into a pact unbeknownst to Ethel Ann. In two, which also takes place in Branagan, but in 1991, World War II U.S. Army Air Forces veteran, septuagenarian Chuck Harris, after an illness, has just passed away. Those that knew him always considered him the reliable one. His death leaves a void in his family, as there has always been a distance between his wife and their daughter, Ethel Ann and Marie, respectively. Marie is perturbed that her mother doesn't seem to be mourning Chuck's death. Another of the mourners is Chuck and Ethel Ann's longtime friend, Jack Etty, also a World War II U.S. Army Air Forces veteran. Although Jack has never said so to them, Jack's son, Peter, and Marie believe that Jack has also had a thing for Ethel Ann. The longer the time passes, the closer Marie comes to abandoning her mother, their relationship which may change if only Ethel Ann and Jack would open up about their feelings holistically. And in three, which also takes place in 1991, an innocent young man named Jimmy Riley, a military buff who lives with his grandmother in Belfast, has joined eccentric old Mr. Quinlan to dig on Black Mountain on the outskirts of the city, the side of the hill known as a World War II fighter plane crash site. Although Jimmy and Mr. Quinlan have dug up bits and pieces of the plane, Jimmy ultimately discovers an engraved ring. Partly on Mr. Quinlan's urging, Jimmy is determined to return the ring to who he believes is its rightful owner. Their digging, however, gets them inadvertently involved in the on-going Northern Ireland conflict, the hill which both sides use for some of their clandestine activities.