"Would you come home, Walter? Please?" With these desperate words from the mysterious, distant mother he hasn't seen in ten years, Wally Day finds his carefully constructed world falling in on itself. For years, the handsome actor has made denial his own particular art form - from his stalled career to his emotionless embrace of the hard-edged boys who regularly traipse through his bedroom. But now, faced with this sudden intrusion from his past, Wally must confront the reasons he left his hometown of Brown's Mill in a cloud of anger, shame, and guilt. He must look face-to-face upon the ghosts of his past: his mother, who he once loved more than anyone else in the world; his abusive father, who never looked at Wally without contempt and suspicion; the life-affirming Miss Aletha, whose love had given Wally refuge; and most of all, Zandy - the man whose memory still haunts him, whose love for Wally had been called a crime - a crime that sent Zandy to jail. But Wally isn't the only one who's confronting ghosts. His mother Regina had dreams too once, dreams corrupted by fate and circumstance. With her own world unravelling, with strange, confusing memories of a murder that may or may not have occurred, she turns to the son she barely knows for help. As Wally unravels the dark side of his All-American family, he has a chance to make peace with the boy he was in order to become the man he needs to be. He is once more the 14-year-old living at Miss Aletha's house on the wrong side of town, the music of Saturday Night Fever providing the charged, erotic soundtrack to his life. The world was on the exuberant edge of change in those days, and Wally relives the thrill of discovery, the promise of forbidden sex - and the mistake that cost him everything. It's a journey that will take both Wally and his mother back to their pasts - to a time when Regina was a starry-eyed girl and Wally the good son, the smartest boy in his class, the shining picture of the "All-American Boy". It's a journey, too, that takes a chance on the future - for now, mirroring his own involvement with Zandy twenty years before, Wally finds he may have something to teach about love and self to a sixteen-year-old boy.
Literature & Fiction, World Literature, United States,