When a tornado nearly wipes the town of Croy, Oklahoma, off the map, Lerner Alquist, its leading citizen, vows to memorialize the wife he lost by building the most magnificent library the state has ever seen. It is a splendid vision, but one that the times and place are against. By 1952, Alquist’s dream needs one final ornament: a sculpture over the main entrance. But pursuing that vision sets in motion a series of events that uncovers the racism, religious bigotry, and sexual tensions that underlie the town. If I Remember Him blends historical context with public triumphs and personal tragedy to portray a town torn between its better angels and its old wounds.