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Woodrow's Trumpet: A Novel

Tim McLaurin

Down Home Press
$13.95 paperback
5 ½ x 8 ½         
256 pages
Published in 1989

The farms of sleepy Oak Hills are losing ground to designer houses for yuppies in this heart-warming tale of the New South. When Woodrow Bunce builds a beach in his front yard complete with sand, palms, and plastic flamingos, the ordinance-seeking yuppies are in an uproar.



“McLaurin offers in this second novel (after The Acorn Plan) a group of richly drawn and memorable characters for whom we feel great affection . . . Three misfits band together to form a family that the townspeople—both old residents and new—of Oak Hills, N.C., cannot understand or accept. Woodrow Bunce, a gentle giant not right in the head since Vietnam, is descended from one of the rich, land-owning local families; he confounds his prosperous brothers by living independently on his small farm despite encroaching yuppie developments. When Nadean, a black former hooker and junkie, and Ellis, an orphan raised in a nearby boy's home, move in with Woodrow, the three find peace for the first time in their miserable lives. But Woodrow's gift to Nadean of a live palm tree and a pretend beach (complete with plastic flamingos) inflames the self-righteous Oak Hills newcomers. Zoning laws are used as a weapon against the bewildered Woodrow, and ugliness, violence, and tragedy ensue.”  —Publishers Weekly
“Set in modern-day North Carolina just outside Chapel Hill, this is the sad/funny tale of the transformation of a rural farming community into an upscale suburb. Woodrow Bunce, the not-all-there offspring of a wealthy tobacco family, and his black girlfriend Nadean, one-time Washington, D.C. dope addict, affront both the local whites and blacks as well as the yuppie carpetbaggers when Woody builds a beach in his front yard, complete with palm tree, sand, and flamingos. The beach is a threat to property values and sets off community fighting. The opening chapters exude much warmth, good will, and joy, and engender wonder in the storyteller's art. The intended message seems to be that while this is the New South, not all that much has changed.”  Library Journal
Woodrow’s Trumpet is a mournful sound crying a theme as old as man. You’ll hear it long after you leave the last page.” —Greensboro News & Record
“Filled with humor, compassion and satire. Memorable characters the reader will be better for knowing.” Atlanta Journal
“Honest like a dirt road. A brilliant mirror by which to see ourselves, darkly.” Raleigh News & Observer