The Writing on the Wall by W. D. Wetherell

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Synopsis

When Vera decides to travel to an old house in the New England countryside for a month-long escape from some devastating news about her daughter, Cassie, she has no idea her life is about to change forever.  It begins innocently enough—peeling the old wallpaper from the walls as a favor to the house’s owner.  What she discovers underneath—written in India ink on the very walls of the house by a woman named Beth, in 1919—is the beginning of the reader’s unsettling crossing into the unknown world underneath the paper.

The Writing on the Wall is a brilliantly realized journey into the connected lives of three women whose stories span a century, linked by the house they all briefly inhabit, and by the tragedies they've had to endure.    And it's not just their own stories that reveal themselves. A brilliant schoolteacher, back from the war in the trenches, finds the pupils of his dreams. A young Vietnam draftee makes a stubbornly quirky separate peace. The moody, dangerously charismatic leader of a commune becomes the unlikeliest of heroes. An “ordinary” housewife's lonely battle propels her onto the national stage. A girl sent to Iraq tries making sense of the chaos and the pain.    

The Writing on the Wall is about stories that can't be told, but must be told—about secrets that can't be shared, but must be shared—and the surprising ways people find to confront the truth.

 

About W. D. Wetherell

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W. D. Wetherell's six novels include Chekhov's Sister, The Wisest Man in America, and A Century of November; among his four story collections are The Man Who Loved Levittown and Hills like White Hills. An essayist as well as a novelist, his non-fiction books include Yellowstone Autumn, Soccer Dad, and, most recently, On Admiration. The winner of many awards for his writing, he lives in the hills of rural New England.
 
Published October 8, 2012 by Arcade Publishing. 232 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Writing on the Wall

Kirkus Reviews

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The pretty-boy heir to a junkyard empire lands himself in high-society rehab after plunging off the George Washington Bridge.

Sep 17 2012 | Read Full Review of The Writing on the Wall

Publishers Weekly

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In Wetherell’s taut latest, Vera Savino, a middle school teacher, retreats to her sister’s summer home to escape an ugly family tragedy—her adult daughter, Cassie, a National Guardswoman charged with overseeing Iraqi POWs, has been incarcerated for an uncharacteristic and reprehensible act.

Jul 23 2012 | Read Full Review of The Writing on the Wall

Bookmarks Magazine

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Dec 23 2012 | Read Full Review of The Writing on the Wall

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