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The Barrowfields
by Phillip Lewis


Overview - A richly textured coming-of-age story about fathers and sons, home and family, recalling classics by Thomas Wolfe and William Styron, by a powerful new voice in fiction

Just before Henry Aster's birth, his father--outsized literary ambition and pregnant wife in tow--reluctantly returns to the small Appalachian town in which he was raised and installs his young family in an immense house of iron and glass perched high on the side of a mountain.  Read more...


 
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More About The Barrowfields by Phillip Lewis
 
 
 
Overview
A richly textured coming-of-age story about fathers and sons, home and family, recalling classics by Thomas Wolfe and William Styron, by a powerful new voice in fiction

Just before Henry Aster's birth, his father--outsized literary ambition and pregnant wife in tow--reluctantly returns to the small Appalachian town in which he was raised and installs his young family in an immense house of iron and glass perched high on the side of a mountain. There, Henry grows up under the writing desk of this fiercely brilliant man. But when tragedy tips his father toward a fearsome unraveling, what was once a young son's reverence is poisoned and Henry flees, not to return until years later when he, too, must go home again.

Mythic in its sweep and mesmeric in its prose, THE BARROWFIELDS is a breathtaking debut about the darker side of devotion, the limits of forgiveness, and the reparative power of shared pasts.

- SIBA Okra Pick

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780451495648
  • ISBN-10: 0451495640
  • Publisher: Hogarth Press
  • Publish Date: March 2017
  • Page Count: 368
  • Dimensions: 9.4 x 6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Coming of Age
Books > Fiction > Family Life

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2017-01-30
  • Reviewer: Staff

In this charming, absorbing, and assured debut novel, a young man tries to make sense of his fathers life and the passions that unite themnamely, a devotion to literature and a rueful nostalgia for their Appalachian homeland. In the novels sweeping opening, the narrator, Henry Aster, describes how his father, also named Henry, briefly escaped his hometown of Old Buckram, N.C., to attend college and pursue soaring literary ambitions, convinced that inside him was something magnificent. After marrying and gaining a law degree, though, the elder Henry learned that his mother is ill, and he returned to Old Buckram, where, following a bout of professional success, he bought a sinister-looking hilltop mansion known as the vulture house. There, he raised his family and toiled away endlessly on a mysterious, Casaubon-esque work of literature. Younger Henry relates all this years later, sometime in the 90s, after having followed a very similar trajectory: he too, after gaining a law degree, has found himself back in Old Buckram. But his father is gone, the rest of his family is in shambles, and his girlfriendthe aptly if cutely named Storyhas her own family problems to sort out. Lewis evokes his settings beautifully, and his prose is bracingly erudite. This debut has the ability to fully immerse its readers. (Mar.)

 
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