The River Hideaway
by Billy Beasley
Titled “The River Hideaway,” Beasley’s full-length novel is set in 1967 Wilmington and follows the growing and unlikely friendship between the wealthy white Bret Marin and black Clarence “Money” Wilkins.
Throughout the novel, the two boys, both on the verge of manhood, struggle with the racially charged environment they live in while finding solace on the basketball court and an abandoned unfinished home on the banks of the Cape Fear River.
While it is not based on any particular historical figures or real people, the novel does contain influences from Beasley’s childhood growing up in Wilmington during the same era. The tense racial atmosphere of Wilmington struck Beasley the first time as a child after witnessing many of the parishioners at his church leave one Sunday when a choir with a black singer came to church.
About the Author
Billy Beasley has lived in southeastern North Carolina his entire life and many years ago was among the very first students to be bused to another school to achieve real integration.
He shares two simple beliefs with his favorite character in this novel. Faith in God and a conviction that ‘hearts have no color’.
Billy Beasley resides in Carolina Beach, NC with his wife Julie, and one spoiled rotten black Chihuahua mix, Sydny. Being among the first students to be bused to another school to achieve real integration, he’s not sure he could have written The River Hideaway without that experience many years ago.
Writing from experience
By Cole Dittmer, Lumina News, May 28, 2014
Paperback: 322 pages; 6 x 9 inches
Publisher: Oak Tree Books (April 28, 2014)