Back to Wando Passo

Back to Wando Passo

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Back to Wando Passo by David Payne, Dick Hill

David Payne has been hailed as "the most gifted American novelist of his generation" (Boston Globe) and has been likened to "Pat Conroy or perhaps a Southern John Irving" (Winston-Salem Journal). Now, in his new novel, Payne introduces us to Ransom Hill, lead singer of a legendary-but-now-defunct indie rock group who has come to South Carolina to turn over a new leaf. A bighearted artist and a bit of a wild man, Ran knows that his wife Claire's patience with him hangs by a frayed thread. After a five-month separation, he's come south from New York City to rejoin her and their two young children at Wando Passo, Claire's inherited family estate, determined to save his marriage, his family, and himself.

Back at Wando Passo, though, things don't proceed according to plan. Claire has taken a job teaching at the local music conservatory, where the dean of the faculty, Marcel Jones, is one of Claire's oldest friends. It's unclear — to Ran, at least — whether Claire and Marcel's relationship remains platonic or has evolved, in his absence, in a disturbing new direction. Matters are complicated further when Ran discovers a mysterious black pot of apparent slave manufacture buried on the grounds of Wando Passo. The unearthing of this relic transports Ransom — and the reader — back one hundred fifty years into the story of another love triangle at Wando Passo at the height of the Civil War . . .

. . . May 1861. Claire's great-great-great grand-mother, Adelaide DeLay, a beautiful thirty-three-year-old "spinster" from a top-drawer Charleston family, arrives at Wando Passo by boat, having made a marriage of convenience to the plantation's future master, Harlan DeLay. As Addie comes down the gangway, she catches the eye of the plantation's steward, Jarry, Harlan's black half brother. Trans-fixed, she sees something in Jarry's eyes "like a question that, once posed, you cannot rest until you have the answer to."

In the present, when two eroded skeletons turn up buried in shallow graves, Ransom becomes obsessed with the identities of the bodies and what happened to them. Did the past triangle — involving Addie, Harlan, and Jarry — culminate in murder? As his marriage to Claire continues to unravel, Ran begins to wonder whether disturbing echoes of the past are leading him, Marcel, and Claire toward a similar, tragic outcome in the present.

A fast-paced adventure story filled with lyrical writing, wicked humor, and unforgettable characters, Back to Wando Passo propels the two love stories, linked by place through time, to a simultaneous crescendo of betrayal, revenge, and redemption, and asks whether the present is doomed to ceaselessly repeat the past — or if it can sometimes change and redeem it.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786176687
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date: 06/01/2006
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

David Payne is the author of four previous novels: Confessions of a Taoist on Wall Street, which won the prestigious Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship Award, Early from the Dance, Ruin Creek, and Gravesend Light. He lives in North Carolina.

Dick Hill, named a "Golden Voice" by AudioFile magazine, is one of the most awarded narrators in the business, having earned three Audie Awards andnumerous Earphones Awards.In addition to narrating, hehas both acted and written for the theater.

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Back to Wando Passo 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
March185 More than 1 year ago
This novel wasn't terrible but wasn't delightful or thought provoking in the least. The characters were shallow and underdeveloped. The main character, Ransom Hill, is manic and a washed up rock n roll artist which is all very intriguing for the first 100 pages but then quickly becomes self deprecating and whiney. The back and forth, although sometimes a pleasure to read, is also hard to follow. Some of the characters are spanish speaking and neither spanish 101 nor the context of the conversation will help the reader fully understand what is being said. It's not the worst book I've ever read but it certainly isn't the best. I started skimming pages in the last few chapters just to get the jist of what happened.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's happened before; an author wins some "prestigious" literary fellowship award, only to blow up his prose like a balloon filled with too much hot air. This book's wanderings and rantings, the author's stream of consciousness pouring forth like muddy waters, became tedious at best, boring at worst, losing possibly a very good story along the way.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If your Momma, or your Mammy, ever told you to 'Hesh up now, that's none of your'n business!', it's time that you opened the pages of BACK TO WANDO PASSO by David Payne and start making it your business in a really interesting and absorbing way. Like cream rising to the surface of churned milk, or dead fish rising to the river's surface after a big storm, truth will rise up and be told by someone eventually. In this book, Payne takes us on a journey of family history, told in parallel chapters from Civil War days and the present days in and around Charleston and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Everything secret or buried, and even those things that seem to be obvious today, will all be opened in the light of truth in this magnificently written tale of the plantation, Waldo Passo, in South Carolina. AND, like the Good Book says - The truth will set you free!'. A must read for anyone who cares about people and truth!