In the tradition of his award-winning novel The Heart of a Distant Forest, Philip Lee Williams gives us another lyrical and compassionate tale, and his most fascinating protagonist to date.
The Song of Daniel is a story of innocence, of a young man who has pushed away his darkest memories to live a simple life as a groundkeeper in a cemetery. Daniel exults in his world in a few close friends at the trailer park, where he lives and with his beloved dog Toggle.
Daniel’s world is changed when he meets Rebecca Gentry, an English professor at a university near the cemetery. Rebecca and Daniel are both transformed when they meet, each bringing gifts of joy and sorrow to their days. But a shattering experience form years’ past comes back into Daniel’s life, threatening both his new love and his happiness. Finally, in a complex clash of innocence and experience Daniel’s childlike life becomes clear and Rebecca discovers a long hidden part of herself-and the key to the poet who so fascinated and eluded her.
This is a story about homeplace, about love and loss of family, about an innocent man’s journey toward experience. Williams, a masterful storyteller, has once again written a beautiful and deeply moving novel.
Hardcover, Peachtree Publishers, 1989
Softcover, Ballantine, 1990