A novel that spans one hundred years and is set in Virginia during the Civil War and a century beyond explores the brutal legacy of violence and exploitation in American society as it examines the fates of the inhabitants of Beauvais Plantation and their descendants.
When war arrives, the master of Beauvais Plantation, Anthony Levallois, foresees that dominion in a new America will be measured not in acres of tobacco under cultivation by his slaves, but in industry and capital. A grievously wounded Confederate veteran's daughter finds herself married to Levallois, an arrangement that feels little better than imprisonment. George Seldom, a man orphaned by the storm of the Civil War, looks back from the 1950s on the void where his childhood ought to have been. Watching the government destroy his neighborhood to build a stretch of interstate highway through Richmond, he travels south in an attempt to recover his true origins.
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