Walk Like a Man

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Honig, Donald. Walk Like a Man. New York: William Sloane, 1961. Out of print.

Young Jeff Taylor witnesses family and social crises in Capstone, Long Island during the Civil War. He springs his step-uncle Clay Taylor from jail when Clay, suspected of Copperhead espionage, faces a lynch mob. But whne Clay disappears, Jeff's sister Rachel is discovered to be pregnant. Jeff faces a moral dilemma: how can he make sure that the wrong man is not blamed for "ruining" his sister, while at the same time being loyal to his beloved, hypermasculine uncle?

To solve his problems, Jeff must follow Clay across the Potomac and into a Virginia that is the seat of war and a landscape of divided loyalties. He grows up by confronting the truth about his uncle and about himself. The novel ends somewhat abruptly with a plot device, that simply puts an end to the problems without continuing to worry them; but it's an interesting Young Adult story. The novel is also flawed by its slavishly Faulknerian prose style. But Walk Like a Man evokes the rural Long Island of the 1860s convincingly.


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