Summary

Jerene Jarvis Johnston and her husband, Duke, are exemplars of Charlotte, North Carolina’s high society, a world where old Southern money and the secrets behind it meet the new wealth of bankers, real estate speculators, and carpetbagging social climbers. Steely and implacable, Jerene presides over her family’s legacy of paintings at the Mint Museum; Duke, the one-time college golden boy and descendant of a Confederate general, whose promising political career was mysteriously short-circuited, has settled into a comfortable semi-senescence as a Civil War reenactor. Jerene’s brother Gaston is an infamously dissolute best-selling historical novelist who has never managed to begin his long-dreamed-of masterpiece. And their sister Dillard’s unfortunate life decisions and losses have rendered her a near-recluse.
As the four Johnston children - smart but reckless Annie, good-boy minister Bo, might-be-gay-but-that’s-okay Joshua, and damaged, dangerous Jerilyn - flounder in their adult lives, Jerene must take action to preserve the family's legacy, Duke’s fragile honor, and what's left of the dwindling family fortune. She will stop at nothing to keep what she has - is it too much to ask for one ounce of cooperation from her heedless family?
In Lookaway, Lookaway, Wilton Barnhardt has written a full-bore, headlong, hilarious narrative of a family coming apart, a society changing beyond recognition, and an unforgettable woman striving to pull it all together.
Includes a bonus interview between Wilton Barnhardt and George Witte, editor in chief of St. Martin's Press.
©2013 Wilton Barnhardt (P)2013 Macmillan Audio
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Critic reviews

"Move over, Tom Wolfe! Writing with brilliance and brio, Barnhardt has penned a hilarious satire which often has surprising depth and hits way too close to the truth." (Lee Smith)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Carol on 08-09-13

Great book, best narrator ever

This book is so big and luscious...wonderful characters, including the South itself. Fabulous narration...not only does Scott Shepherd embody the character's voices perfectly, his little humorous inflections while reading descriptive passages drench them with color. You find yourself nodding in agreement...

Sad when it ended

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Elisabeth on 06-09-13

Southern Characters, fo' sure!

I really enjoyed Lookaway, Lookaway. I should put in the caveat that I am from NC, so it was fun hearing about so many places familiar to me. That aside, Barnhardt does a great job with character development and tells the story through an interesting method. For the first few hours, I thought it was going to be all sorority and debutante fluff, but then the novel took a sharp left turn and never looked back. The matriach, Jerene Jarvis Johnson, is incredibly well drawn. Hats off to Barnhardt for his clever story line that always kept me surprised.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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