When Vera decides to travel to an old house in the New England countryside for a month-long escape from some devastating news about her daughter, Cassie, she has no idea her life is about to change forever. It begins innocently enough--peeling the old wallpaper from the walls as a favor to the house's owner. What she discovers underneath--written in India ink on the very walls of the house by a woman named Beth, in 1919--is the beginning of the reader's unsettling crossing into the unknown world underneath the paper.
The Writing on the Wall is a brilliantly realized journey into the connected lives of three women whose stories span a century, linked by the house they all briefly inhabit, and by the tragedies they've had to endure. And it's not just their own stories that reveal themselves. A brilliant schoolteacher, back from the war in the trenches, finds the pupils of his dreams. A young Vietnam draftee makes a stubbornly quirky separate peace. The moody, dangerously charismatic leader of a commune becomes the unlikeliest of heroes. An "ordinary" housewife's lonely battle propels her onto the national stage. A girl sent to Iraq tries making sense of the chaos and the pain.
The Writing on the Wall is about stories that can't be told, but must be told--about secrets that can't be shared, but must be shared--and the surprising ways people find to confront the truth.
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