A true story The world in which the child finds himself is one of vivid and wondrous beauty, and horrifying ugliness, too, that thrills with its suggestion of evil. The father, old eugh to be a granddaddy, prides himself a self-made man, likes to dress well and doesn't take crap. The younger mother, a former school teacher, can be teasingly friendly: at other times, as coldly indifferent as ice. School proves difficult. Neither parent is ever satisfied, t even with passing. By the fourth grade, the boy is confined to the principal's office every afteron. And on the bus, required to sit in plain sight on the heater by the driver, this for fighting. Military school faces him at age eleven. Fun with girls leads to an obsession with sex and daring escapades. However, the cadet's growing sense of abandonment imposes a death sentence upon him: he envisions a hanging. A shadow looming, this hanging spells trouble. To parents who are stunned, outraged, and deeply saddened he returns. The child survives, most of him does; we do t leave childhood without sacrificing something. At the very end, he is saved in a way that is t unexpected, yet still astonishing!
A native of Virginia, Robert Hartley began drawing and telling stories at age four and never really stopped, having written and published poetry and worked as a freelance artist. Vivid memoir though is the art for which he is best known. His mastery of language is signature; displayed is word smithery that critics have called magical. The author of Childhood and MossBackDragon, Hartley is currently completing his third book, The Royal Road to Thebes.