Almost overnight, Arthur Wise has become one of the wealthiest and most powerful attorneys in America. His first big purchase is a simple beach house in a place called Bluepoint, a town on the far edge of the flexed arm of Cape Cod.
It's in Bluepoint, during the summer of 1952, that Arthur's teenage son, Hilly, makes friends with Lem Dawson, a black man whose job it is to take care of the house but whose responsibilities quickly grow. When Hilly finds himself falling for Lem's niece, Savannah, his affection for her collides with his father's dark secrets. The results shatter his family, and hers.
Years later, haunted by his memories of that summer, Hilly sets out to find Savannah, in an attempt to right the wrongs he helped set in motion. But can his guilt, and his good intentions, overcome the forces of history, family, and identity?
A beautifully told multigenerational story about love and regret, Wise Men confirms that Stuart Nadler is one of the most exciting young writers at work today
Amazon Best Books of the Month, February 2013: Wise Men begins with an irresistible description of the narrator's father--an arrogant, preening, but still somehow lovable ambulance-chasing lawyer who becomes superrich and famous by prosecuting the airlines--and goes on to create a perfect picture of mid-20th-century America: a country naïve, ambitious, and possessed of a racism and anti-Semitism both genteel and pervasive. With stunning understanding--especially for a young author born well after the time his book describes--Nadler has written a story about fathers and sons, about love and longing and loss; a book that is funny and sad and local and global. Think Harper Lee crossed with Philip Roth: This is a truly Great American Novel. --Sara Nelson