In this coming-of-age novel, Henry Clark, professor emeritus of religion in USC College, chronicles the teenage years of Victor Carter, a college-bound student caught in a violent family conflict in post-World War II North Carolina. Tensions between his mother and father escalate after the death of his maternal grandfather when a phony will surfaces, leaving his uncle dead and father imprisoned. As the idealistic Victor sets off for college, he grows painfully aware of the class, race and family conflicts surrounding him, which he struggles to understand.
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