Everybody needs a get away from the normal mundane lifestyle of routine work and happenstance. They need an outlet that leads the imagination into a different time-period. A time period that represents the difference in the lifestyle between now and the 1800's, understanding that a hundred years ago people lived much simpler lives that had various outcomes, and conclusions that represented how hard work adds to success. We all like to recall our childhood memories and the way things used to be when we were growing up. Listening to our grandparents ramble on endlessly about how we have it easier and how they had it harder growing up than what we have it now. Wayward Life is a story about a boy growing up on a Tennessee farm with his family in the late 1800's. This story whispers the sound of Civil War and the beginning of the industrial revolution that made America such a great nation. The main character, Christopher, explains the hardships and uncertainty of the small farmer. The small farming communities that emerged during the Civil War have relevance as to keeping the country going during a time of war. Christopher tells a story about what hard work ethic, good integrity, and study can do for him and his family living on an 1800 farm. Some of which Wayward Life displays to the reader is how the family interacts and pulls together to accomplish tasks that are invited into their day-to-day lives. Wayward Life also has a child's like playfulness between friends and family that most often creates a tight bond between family siblings and friends. Simplicity is the key; thus, passing knowledge from one generation to another, Christopher and his family (the Smiths) survives our changing America during a time of war and industrial revolution. This is a fun-loving book about a boy named Christopher Smith who tells his story about the South during the late 1800's. Christopher lives on a farm located in Knoxville, Tennessee, owned by his father, Henry Smith and his mother, Rebecca Smith. His family pulls together to get the farm work done; when they are not working on chores, Christopher, his brothers, sisters, and friends find time to play. This story goes in depth about growing up on a farm and the trials that present themselves while working on a farm. Many tasks are part of the everyday life of Christopher and his family, such as selling at the market, building houses, and finding new means of transportation that is, trains, and bicycles. They have an uncle, Nick Smith, who lives in Nashville, where they like to visit. As Christopher stays at Uncle Nick's house and plays with his cousins, he notices that keeping close to family is important. Christopher finds himself in a world of war and peace at the same time, holding on to family and school values in an uncertain South that is in the midst of abolishing slavery.