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William T. Goodman’s debut novel takes us on a mesmerizing journey of linked narratives that speak to the richness and rawness of the human experience. Through unusual circumstances, three uniquely different people come together in the small desert community of Lunden, Arizona.
Tom is a forty-one-year-old college professor from Kingston, New York. After his marriage crumbles, Tom heads west on a sabbatical to reevaluate his life.
Mae is a thirty-nine-year-old accountant and part time singer from Tennessee. While fleeing from a tragic past, her car breaks down in the Arizona desert.
Joseph is a twenty-nine-year-old part-Crow Indian from Montana. After graduating from college and returning to his reservation to teach high school, Joseph’s youthful optimism disappears after a violent altercation in the classroom ends his teaching career. Joseph drives south seeking a warmer climate and a solitary existence.
As the small desert town of Lunden gradually reveals its darker underbelly of violence and racism, the novel’s realism intimately captivates us. With diverse characters brought to life through a mixture of sometimes emotional, humorous, moving, shocking and heartbreakingly tragic developments as well as flashback revelations, Desert Sundays unfolds like an ingenious jigsaw puzzle.
Propelled toward an explosive finale, the novel compels us to reexamine concepts of legal versus moral justice, loyalty, degrees of personal loss, prejudice and even the possibility of metaphysical predetermination. Desert Sundays strikingly showcases the complexities of contemporary America, and with masterful insight, the novel vividly captures life’s intensity, touching our hearts, our hopes and our fears.