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    Why, on the first day of class, is Professor Dean confessing his shortcomings to the students -- amensia, no previous teaching experiences, and a desire to be somewhere other than lecturing to Devon College's privileged and surly rugby team and two cheerleaders?  Dean's recovery from a wrecked VW van in the Carolina wilderness leaves him scarred but intact physically and suffering from amnesia.  Fortunately, a briefcase of documents recovered from the wreckage was enough to secure him a teaching position at the prestigious private college after his release from the Cherokee Medical Clinic.  Dean's romantic involvement with Leah, the native Cherokee nurse who aids his recovery complicates his status at the Devon College.  Chaplain Stuart Adams helps Professor Dean remember his past until a series of untoward events interrupts his recovery.  Leah is murdered, the body of Dean's twin brother is discovered in the VW wreckage and a strange woman appears claiming to be his financee.  Will Dean ever know who he is or who he was?

Jacob's Robe is published on the 50th anniversary of an icon of the psychedelic, flower-power hippie era.  The disproportionately boxy 1963 VW van with a mattress in the back symbolizes an era of counterculture and social changes in America. It is from the wreckage of just such a vehicle that J. E. Dean's story emerges.  Although the popularity of the VW van faded over time, it remains a symbol of empowered youth and social change.  

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