The basis for the most popular television movie in a generation (not to mention the most-watched Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation in history), “What the Deaf-Mute Heard” is a tale that stays with you long after the last page is turned.
When ten-year-old Sammy Ayers awakens in an empty bus after an overnight trip, it’s a moment of paralyzing disorientation: He doesn’t know where he is, his mother has disappeared, and he’s surrounded by strangers who don’t know quite what to do with him. His response is to simply sit quietly and wait for his mother to appear. She never does.
The town is Barrington, Georgia, and Sammy grows up there -- never leaving the bus station, in fact -- and almost three decades pass before he speaks another word. But in the heated cultural stew of the 1960s, the man who everyone in Barrington assumes is a deaf-mute handyman reveals the town’s secrets, and in the process learns the story of his own life.
One of the most memorable narrators in American literature, Sammy is funny, touching, skeptical, judgmental and unflinchingly honest as he explains what happened that summer when rock ‘n’ roll, religion, insurance fraud and the hunt for his mother all came together to result in a jaw-dropping revelation.
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