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Wrought with angst over his young sister’s death, nineteen-year-old Robert English returns to his childhood town to discover family secrets, adventure, and the love of his life.
“Secret rooms, buried grief, the turbulence of love. The appealing young man who narrates this engaging novel encounters them all on a momentous journey through a summer in which he must face the ghosts of the past and the challenges of the present on his way to a future all his own.”
—Pam Durban, author of All Set About with Fever Trees and Other Stories
Lakewood, William Walsh’s debut novel, is the story of one young man’s summer of discovery. Set during the Nixon years, it chronicles the journey of Robert English as he lays down old grief, finds and loses new love, and changes paths as he sets out on an odyssey to find himself and his place in the world. This well-written coming-of-age epistolary explores important truths about the transition from childhood to what comes after in a style reminiscent of J.D. Salinger. With a poet’s eye for detail and language, William Walsh has given us a story worth reading and remembering.
—Raymond L. Atkins, author of Set List and Sweetwater Blues
“Lakewood is a wonderful novel, filled with the joys and suffering of a young man who agrees to house-sit during the summer of ’73 in the home where he grew up. Told in the pitch-perfect voice of a college student, it is filled with the pain of memory and hope for a new life. This is a strong, poignant story that will hold your attention like a secret room.”
—Philip Lee Williams, author of Far Beyond the Gates
“I want what I say to be more than myself,’ introspective college student Robert English commits to his typescript journal in a summer of self-discovery spent housesitting for the new owners of his childhood home, the site of his sister’s death eleven years prior. William Walsh’s Lakewood takes us deeply into Robert’s wounded psyche as he navigates the hauntings of his past and the uncertainty of the future. His tribulations in love and betrayal, immersion into great novels, and discovery of long hidden secrets impart lessons for Robert and for Walsh’s readers of our capacity to understand and forgive ourselves and one another. Walsh has long established himself as a multifaceted Swiss Army knife of a writer, and Lakewood further distinguishes him as a masterful storyteller to be read again and again.”
—Jonathan Haupt, co-editor of Our Prince of Scribes:
Writers Remember Pat Conroy
Author: William WalshPublication Date: April 4, 20226x9 Trade Paper, 286p, List $16.99ISBN: 978-1-956851-09-0Fiction: Literary, Small Town, Young Men's Literary Fiction