At the heart of this exciting debut novel, set in Arizona and Idaho in the mid-1970s, is 15-year-old Loretta, who slips out of her bedroom every evening to meet her so-called gentile boyfriend. Her strict Mormon parents catch her returning one night, and promptly marry her off to Dean Harder, a devout yet materialistic fundamentalist who already has a wife and a brood of kids. The Harders relocate to his native Idaho, where Dean's teenage nephew Jason falls hard for Loretta.
"My favorite of Vestal's fiction"
In this stunning debut, Shawn Vestal transports us to the afterlife, the rugged Northwest, and the early days of Mormonism. From “The First Several Hundred Years Following My Death”, an absurd, profound vision of a hellish heaven, to “Winter Elders”, in which missionaries calmly and relentlessly pursue a man who has left the fold, these nine stories illuminate the articles of faith that make us human.
"If you like George Saunders..."