Spanning the years 1917 through 1937, “The Finest Hat in the Whole World” follows Des Stewart and his niece Phena through the decades of the Great World War, flu pandemic, Prohibition, and the Great Depression. Yet, the world’s turmoil is nothing compared to that of their fractured family.
Des Stewart, “the responsible one,” of his siblings, has put his life on hold to care for his widowed invalid mother who is gradually slipping into senility. Now thirty years old, he tends bar at a saloon close to home. Burdened with guilt, secrets, and regrets, he is depressed, overweight and apathetic about his future.
An opportunity for redemption arrives in the winter of 1917 when his nine year-old niece, Phena, comes to live with him. Troubled, temperamental and volatile, the girl has exhausted the patience of her parents. However, Des and Phena have a bond that originated the night of her traumatic birth, a bond that distance and circumstance could never break.
Can Des overcome his insecurities and bitterness as he molds Phena into an honorable woman?
And... what does it mean to wear the finest hat in the whole world?