Banjo Man

Banjo Man tells the story of Susan Willson Reese, a widow, retired schoolteacher, and accomplished bluegrass and old–time banjo picker. A native of the fictional community of Willson's Cove in the North Carolina mountains, she has been trying to find one of the many handcrafted fretless banjos her grandpa, Luther Willson, built back in the early 1900s. Her quest has been a twenty–year search of futility. Grandpa had been a well–known luthier and musician in the mountains of North Carolina, building fiddles, lap dulcimers, and fretless banjos from the early part of the twentieth century until he died in the 1950s. Before World War I, he began taking them by train to St. Petersburg, Florida, and selling them, leaving his wife and several children for weeks and even months at a time. When Susan meets Dr. John "Mac" McBride, a romance follows, and she becomes Mrs. McBride. While on their honeymoon, she finally stumbles on one of Grandpa's banjos along with the banjo's owner, the accomplished banjo picker and singer Harry Harvey. This discovery opens a whole new can of worms: scandals, identity issues, secrets unveiled, and more. Susan learns that life, as she has known it, has been built on deception. Suspicions, denials, searches in dusty attics, and secret stashes bring the large Willson clan to a new understanding about their history. Not only is Susan's entire life challenged, but she comes face–to–face with her own need for the faith she has set aside over the last several decades. Are her questions about her identity ever resolved? Will these events destroy a close–knit mountain clan? Banjo Man introduces a full cast of mostly senior citizens, including nursing home residents, Susan's Aunt Carrie and others, who are intricately involved in Susan's drama.

 

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