Toots in Solitude
A NovelFunny, suspenseful, tender, and wise—the story of a man who took to the woods, and the woman who found him there
Soon after his fortieth birthday, Macon “Toots” Henslee left his home, his job, and his marriage to live in a tree house. Lots of people—his wife especially—thought that he had lost his mind, but from his perch atop a Tennessee riverbank, Toots could see plainly the insanity of his old life. He had become a man who said and did the opposite of what he wanted to say and do—what could be crazier than that?
Nine years later, Toots is out fishing one morning when he catches sight of a nervous young woman hiding behind a sycamore. Sally Ann Shaw is an aspiring country singer in trouble—the kind of trouble that comes with a briefcase full of stolen drug money and a pair of hired thugs in hot pursuit. A hermit’s tree house is the perfect hiding place, but in such close quarters, Toots and Sally Ann have more than gangsters to fear. For a man who gave up everything to start life over again and a woman in desperate need of a hero, love may be the most dangerous game of all.
Hailed by the New York Times as “a tale written with zest and read with pleasure,” Toots in Solitude is a novel as eccentric, endearing, and irresistible as its unforgettable main character.
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“Wry, delightful.” —Los Angeles Times
“A Country and Western song fleshed out and made into an ironic comedy.” —The New York Times
“This is a wise and funny novel, and expert storytelling.” —John Irving
“John Yount unravels his plot with such skill and brilliance that you swallow the lot. . . . Compelling reading.” —The Daily Telegraph
“The most exciting book I’ve read in years. It just cuts loose and goes, and I went with it.” —Vance Bourjaily
About the author
John Yount is the author of five critically acclaimed novels: Wolf at the Door, The Trapper's Last Shot, Hardcastle, Toots in Solitude, and Thief of Dreams. A longtime professor at the University of New Hampshire, he has been the recipient of grants from the Rockefeller and Guggenheim Foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts. According to John Irving, Yount is "a completely original voice in contemporary American fiction."