Meet an earnest first-grader, intent upon convincing his hill-country parents that other children are treated to a party each year on their birthday, that they invite friends, eat cake - and receive presents. Meet also his equally intent mother, who is determined not to open this can of worms, not with the 128 cousins who might start doing the same thing. Both of them step out of this luminous story that turns the concept of "good neighbors" upside down.
In "The Time Machine", Davis offers us both the story of the reunion and the collectively remembered story of his classmates' senior year. In 1962, Waynesville, North Carolina, was that small town where the school principal also served as a teacher, the football coach, and the Sunday-school superintendent. One classmate spends his time in the bar wishing for a time machine, so he can go back to his teenage years with his accumulated experience.