Young Wayland Garrett's life story is one composed of lies. Yet, that story is compelling, not only for the journey he takes to become a man but also for the language in which his story is told, deceptive though it may be. In words of quiet beauty and with effortless grace, author William Hoffman takes us back to the tobacco country of Depression-era Virginia, where Wayland's story begins. His past is peopled by spectral figures: his mother--a proud, upright woman worn thin and tough by poverty and ceaseless toil; his daddy--who taught his boys to live off the land and take what was needed but died broken and unable to provide for his family the only way he knew; and the Ballards--wealthy landowners who were the gods of their own pastoral heaven, prospering from the sweat of others and expecting thanks for the privilege. Wayland flees from this life to war-torn Europe, where he struggles to find courage buried within, despite his ever-present fear in a land burdened by destruction and carnage. Following Germany's surrender, Wayland flees again, this time to Southern Florida, where he reinvents himself through deception, of both himself and those around him. Finally, Wayland looks back at the land he left behind--Howell County, Virginia--and the innocent, ignorant boy he left in its fields. As he recalls his struggle toward manhood and independence, he must decide how much of this life he should now reveal to his cultured wife and beautiful daughter, who know nothing of hunger and want, and how much will stay buried under the dust of his past and remain hidden by lies.
Used availability for William Hoffman's Lies
August 2005 : USA Hardback