“Oakley Hall's Love and War in California is in so many ways a culmination, a fulfillment, a peak: of Hall's artistry, of his lifelong exploration of the recurring motifs and topography and mythology of the American west, and of the great post-Chandler novel itself, that epic romance of disillusion and of promise betrayed, of which Hall is, as this book proves, our greatest living master.”
— Michael Chabon on Love and War In California
Love and War in California tells the story, through the eyes of Payton Daltrey, of the last sixty years of an evolving America.
The award-winning author Oakley Hall begins his newest work in 1940s San Diego, where his endearing, wide-eyed narrator must define his identity in terms of self, family, and World War II. As his classmates disappear into the war one by one, he becomes obsessed with abuses of power and embroiled with the charming, dangerous Errol Flynn; with the Red Baiting of the American Legion; with the House Un-American Activities Committee; and with the Japanese interment at Manzanar. Nevertheless, Payton, too, must go to the war, where he is a part of the invasion of Europe and that proving of the American soldier: the Battle of the Bulge. After war’s end and time in New York, he returns to California as a writer and a seeker, whose old, long-lost love rises from the ashes to show him who he really is.