Lie Down in Darkness Chapter Abstracts for Teachers

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Chapter Abstracts

* The novel opens with the description of a train trip from Richmond, Virginia, to the fictional town of Port Warwick, Virginia.

* Waiting for the train in Port Warwick are Milton Loftis, Dolly Bonner (Milton's mistress) and Ella Swan (the Loftis family cook).

* The body of Peyton Loftis, Milton's younger daughter, is coming by train from New York City.

* While waiting for the train, Milton reminisces about his life and remembers his father's admonishments about living a responsible, productive life.

* Milton recalls meeting and marrying his wife, Helen, as well as his college days at the University of Virginia where he began to drink heavily.

* Milton finds a letter Peyton wrote him from New York and his grief is palpable at the loss of his favorite child.

* The funeral hearse keeps overheating which adds an element of frustration to the day.

* Helen recalls elements of her life too...

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