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Wise Menby Stuart Nadler
Synopses & Reviews
Almost overnight, Arthur Wise has become one of the wealthiest and most powerful attorneys in America. His first big purchase is a simple beach house in a place called Bluepoint, a town on the far edge of the flexed arm of Cape Cod.
It's in Bluepoint, during the summer of 1952, that Arthur's teenage son, Hilly, makes friends with Lem Dawson, a black man whose job it is to take care of the house but whose responsibilities quickly grow. When Hilly finds himself falling for Lem's niece, Savannah, his affection for her collides with his father's dark secrets. The results shatter his family, and hers.
Years later, haunted by his memories of that summer, Hilly sets out to find Savannah, in an attempt to right the wrongs he helped set in motion. But can his guilt, and his good intentions, overcome the forces of history, family, and identity?
A beautifully told multigenerational story about love and regret, Wise Men confirms that Stuart Nadler is one of the most exciting young writers at work today
"Nadler begins his first novel, a sweeping epic of race and family in America, with an extraordinary account of lawyer Arthur Wise's meteoric ascent in the post-WWII era through the eyes of his son, Hilly. Once an ambulance chaser, Arthur becomes one of the country's richest and most famous lawyers thanks to a class action suit against the airline industry. In 1952, when Hilly is 17, Arthur buys a Cape Cod beach house tended to by an African-American caretaker, Lem Dawson, whose beautiful niece, Savannah, lives in a squalid shack nearby. As Arthur and Lem clash, Hilly falls for Savannah, complicating the situation. The first third of the novel forms a stunning portrait of a family struggling to learn the unstated rules of possessing wealth and power. But the subsequent sections, which find Hilly and Savannah reuniting in middle-age, and then again in the present day, take the drama in overly ambitious directions. The frantically plotted middle glosses over Hilly's rationale for key decisions, and the final section builds to a twist that raises as many questions as it answers. Even at its most outlandishly plotted, however, the novel is held together by the profound connection Hilly and Savannah form without spending more than a few hours together in their lives. Nadler's portrait of doomed romance, along with dissections of wealth and success worthy of John Cheever, make this a very exciting debut. Agent: PJ Mark, Janklow & Nesbit." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"An absorbing, well-crafted book, with all the storytelling virtues on display. It is atmospheric, thoughtful, and mature, with characters whose fate arouses genuine curiosity. It is fiction of great integrity and vast promise."--Hilary Mantel
Hilly Wise is the son of one of the wealthiest and most powerful lawyers in the United States. When Hilly meets Savannah, a young black girl, on the beach at Cape Cod during the summer of 1952, his affection for her collides with his father's secrets. The result shatters his family, and hers.
Years later, Hilly sets out to find Savannah and to right the wrongs he helped set in motion. But can his sense of guilt, and his good intentions, overcome the forces of history, family, and identity? A multi-generational story about love and regret, the evolving struggle for racial dignity, and the crushing weight of familial obligation, WISE MEN confirms that Stuart Nadler is one of the most exciting young writers at work today.
About the Author
Stuart Nadler is a recipient of the 5 Under 35 Award from the National Book Foundation. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where he was awarded a Truman Capote Fellowship and a Teaching-Writing Fellowship, he was also the Carol Houck Smith Fiction Fellow at the University of Wisconsin. He is the author of the story collection, The Book of Life.
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