I was able to vote yesterday! At least poor old Night Journal got one vote.
I also went ahead and ordered Boy in the Striped Pajamas as I realized that my number 2 library position would not get the book to me very soon. As soon as the December book is selected (looks like Cold Comfort Farm is the strong contendor), I am going to see how popular the book is so I'll have a better feel for whether I'll be be able to get it from the library. I prefer library books, but am willing to buy if needed. I charged my son's funeral in August on a card that gives me amazon.com coupons so I can read quite a few books from this sad charge. He loved to read though so it seems like a sweet reminder of him. (As if I need reminders of him.)
I think Ian opted to stay in Straun because he was by nature someone who wanted to do the "right thing" and he had a strong sense of serving the community and of his home. He was torn between wanting to follow in his father's footsteps and wanting to be his own person and leaving home.
Actually, my oldest son was that way and his preference of staying near home probably prevented him from branching out to make more money in his field (technical work backstage for various productions). He was trying also to get on a crew that had steam engines (trains) and I think that if he had succeeded in that (paying rather than volunteer work), he would have left our area.
After Carter's death, I thought Ian might have left to try to flee bad memories, but apparently this made him feel more obligated to the community. His love of Laura figured into it somewhat, but it didn't sound like he had much contact with her after the accident.