|Plot Summary of Lies|
|"Wayland Garnett came from a family of field workers and sharecroppers on the property of Henry Ballard, who owned most of Howell County, Virginia. Now, at age 63, he's a long way from the life of hardship and poverty that killed his father and nearly destroyed one of his brothers. Wayland now owns a prosperous business, is married to a much younger woman and has a daughter. He has concealed his impoverished origins from his family and vowed never to return to Howell County.
As the book opens, Wayland is breaking that vow. Following a conference in Richmond, he decides to drive back to the old Ballard property. As he drives on once-familiar roads, now changed by time, the memories come flooding back. His best friend Willie Meekems. Josephus, the black youth who worked beside Wayland, with whom he's had a friend-enemy relationship. His first crushes, Henry Ballard's lovely daughter, Diana, and Henry Ballard's second wife, who gives him his first ride on a horse.
Memories of Wayland's father, who brewed corn liquor in a hidden still and lost an arm in a baling machine, flood back. He remembers his mother, hardworking and deprived of the beauty a woman should have in her life.
Wayland's memories take him through his childhood of hoeing tobacco and learning to steal corn from the boss's fields through his young manhood in the Ballard sawmill to his years in the Army, fighting in World War II. Like many poor Americans, Wayland has his first experience of life outside his closed circle in the service. He discovers the joy and advantages of reading and eventually develops an automotive machinery company and marries a solidly middle-class woman. He makes up stories of a Virginia planter background to conceal his real past.
Now, as he drives through the country that's in his blood, he wonders if he's done the right thing. Is it time to come clean and stop lying to his family and to himself?
David Gordon, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of Lies|
Our unique search engine provides a wealth of detail about books by breaking them down into many different literary elements, all of which are searchable (click here).
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Tone of book?
Time/era of story
Kind of living:
- farm poverty
Is this an adult or child's book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
- a teen
- White (American)
Sense of humor
- Mostly serious with occasional humor
- Smarter than most other characters
- average physique
How much of work is main antagonist actually present in:
- a moderate amount
How sensitive is this character?
- hard edged
Sense of humor
- Cynical sense of humor
- Average intelligence
- average physique
How much descriptions of surroundings?
- 5 ()
- lot of descript of crop raising
- mostly 3rd
Accounts of torture and death?
- no torture/death
- a lot of flashback and forwards
- a lot of stream of consciousness
Amount of dialog
- significantly more descript than dialog
Click here for more information about this book
William Hoffman Resident Scholar Profiles|
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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