With the deep emotion and insight of “a true storyteller” (Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times ), Christopher Tilghman, the author of the acclaimed Mason’s Retreat and In a Father’s Place, has written a powerful new novel of men and women, fathers and families.
Eric Alwin has gone to visit his elderly father, a once commanding and charismatic Maryland senator who has seen his public service soured–and his family broken–by a sex scandal. Realizing that his own unfaithfulness, his disaffection with his career and marriage, seem to be a continuation of a family pattern, Eric is astonished to find his father proposing a bold expedition.
The ensuing trip through the Deep South and the American heartland becomes both a journey into the emotional truth of the Alwin family and a breakthrough into a new kind of resilience and understanding, and love. Along the way, Eric will know anew not only his mother, Audrey, but his sisters, Alice and Poppy, and his own wife and son. As he discovers the surprising secret behind the scandal that defined his father’s fate, he will also realize what he must do to shape a more authentic and coherent life for himself.
Christopher Tilghman’s Roads of the Heart is a brilliant achievement by an author who, grappling with the strains and discords of contemporary American culture, achieves a special understanding of how family members love and lose and find one another every day.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: Roads of the Heart|
|Release Date: 07-13-2004|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||Roads of the Heart|
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Roads of the Heart
The sound his father had made was “mop-jeck,” or perhaps “mott-seck.”
“I’m sorry?” Eric leaned forward. He was sitting on the edge of a hospital bed, a wood-grained model that the man from the rental company had suggested for a “gentleman’s décor”; his left buttock was asleep. They were speaking over the insistent tinny hum of an electric space heater. They were sitting in his father’s bookish study. Outside the door, the grandfather clock ticked. His father was installed in his wingback chair, which was where he always spent most of these Sunday afternoons, resting after the exertions of church. He had a steel hospital bed table drawn tight in front of him, as if to keep him from pitching forward. He had been listening quietly as Eric did the usual: emptied his mind of news, whatever stray bits, factoids, and epiphanies he could conjure out of the gray background of his suburban life. It was like chanting, this largely one-way form of conversing, an exercise in the free-ranging self-examination one might engage in while praying, or on an analyst’s couch. Unless his father grabbed the bait on a certain subject, Eric would just keep tossing out the line.
It was a dreary March day, casting the kind of spiritual light that seems to illuminate one’s vague fears and concealed regrets. That was the sort of thing Eric had been speaking about, whether he and Gail had made the right choices; whether their son, Tom, blamed him for his uncertain start in life; whether happiness is something you earn and whether unhappiness is a punishment for your sins. It was an odd, rather Calvinistic l