Wooden Spoons    A Novel


I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

Henry David Thoreau

          When Professor Daniel Whaley abandons his position at The University of Wisconsin, leaves his wife, and isolates himself on a mountain in southwestern Pennsylvania it appears to be an act of desperation. Events that envelop him, during his one year tenure on Hemlock Knob, suggest that the professor has been pulled toward a fate that long awaited him.

          Rising above Lick Hollow, the town where Daniel grew up, Hemlock Knob is where his great-great-grandfather, Adam Reilly, settled after returning from the Civil War. Daniel remains on the mountain to restore the family homestead, which has been neglected for decades, and as Adam once did, he carves wooden spoons. While thus employed, the professor mysteriously comes to resemble his legendary Irish ancestor in dress and demeanor.

          Daniel’s arrival on the mountain is timely. Attorney Maurice Nicklow and his treacherous son, Donald, of Nicklow Developers Inc., are moving to acquire Hemlock Knob for a wealthy client from Pittsburgh. The transformation in Daniel is to his great advantage during the inevitable confrontation with the Nicklows.

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