Synopses & Reviews
ust as she did in her New York Times Notable debut novel, The Metal Shredders, Nancy Zafris follows a colorful cast of characters into uncharted fictional territory, this time landing in the canyon country of the desert Southwest in 1954. For motivations as straightforward as striking it rich to reasons far more complex and counfounding, they each embark on very personal divergent journeys across an unforgiving countryside, even while their quest to find uranium unites them. By turns meditative and funny, frightening, witty and refreshingly wise, Lucky Strike explores the ways that language simply put can mine the inexpressable. In the process, a young widow and her two children learn much about uranium but even more about the nature of the love that binds them. This is a story to touch your heart.
A young widow and her two children catch "uranium fever" in the 1950s and
join the throng of self-styled prospectors heading to the desert Southwest, hoping
to strike it rich.
"What a wild ride this book is. The characters are plucky, sympathetic, and memorable,
the situations sometimes laugh-out-loud funny and sometimes bittersweet,
and the pacing just right. Zafris is a keen observer of the human comedy."
—Library Journal H
"Likable and thought-provoking . . . another winner."—The Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Zafris . . . invests her offbeat material with deep emotion and tragic undertones.
Charlie's debilitating illness and the effects of uranium poisoning (unknown at the
time) sit in counterpoint to the loopy banter and endearing cast of characters."
"The search for a fresh start is a classic American story, and one that Zafris makes
new with this novel. . . . Low-key but persuasive, this period piece evokes the innocence
of an earlier era and underscores the desperation and hope of the eclectic
bunch this mom and her kids meet in their pursuit of the new gold."
—Good Housekeeping.com / The Book Babes
"Laced with quiet tongue-in-cheek humor and told from multiple viewpoints,
the adventures of this quirky cast of characters make for a warmhearted, entertaining
read." —The Denver Post
Zafris's dry sense of humor runs through the story, a counterpoint to the poignancy of Charlie's illness, the desperation of the uranium seekers, and the not-yet-understood danger of radiation poisoning. The sinister, thrilling mushroom cloud of the bomb casts its shadow over everything. 'Lucky Strike" is a quirky novel that rewards careful reading.”The Boston Globe
"What a wild ride this book is. The characters are plucky, sympathetic, and memorable, the situations sometimes laugh-out-loud funny and sometimes bittersweet, and the pacing just right. Zafris is a keen observer of the human comedy."--LIBRARY JOURNAL, STARRED
Comic and darkly ironic.”Southwest Book Views
Likable and thought-provoking
another winner.”THE CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER
Laced with quiet tongue-in-cheek humor and told from multiple viewpoints, the adventures of this quirky cast of characters makes for a warmhearted, entertaining read.”THE DENVER POST
Funny and touching.”PAGES MAGAZINE
Zafris' writing lets emotions and memories penetrate each other the way they do in ordinary thought, though seldom in fiction. Sometimes you have to go back and see what's really being said
Yet each of Zafris' sentences is as sharp-edged as a miner's pick, and to have to reread one occasionally is a pleasure.”FORT LAUDERDALE SUN-SENTINEL
All learn that love and friendship endure beyond fortune. In Zafris disturbing and ironic novel, the universe operates under skies where the laws of atomic energy are highly visible
[the ending] haunts long after the reader puts the book down.”THE OREGONIAN
[a] noir-tinged adventure story
One could read Lucky Strike as a historical portrait of a time and place. All the realistic details, though, reverberate with unsettling implications. The characters don't know how poisonous their environment is, but readers
know -- and dread the future effects on the characters of the uranium they long to find.”THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
The strength of Lucky Strike is thanks in part to its quirky cast of characters
come together in an age of innocence, before humans fully understood the effects of radiation. They pool their strengths and offset each other's weaknesses as they work towards the common goal of hitting a lucky strike
This was a book of many fascinating layers
I cared about the characters and their individual fates. That's what good writing is all about.”MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
Her gift is blending unique characters with vivid settings.”The Winston-Salem Journal
America has always been the place for seekers to reinvent themselves. The canyon country of Utah in the 1950s is just such a territory, where thousands of self-styled prospectors, encouraged by government pamphlets and naove promises, have caught uranium fever and descended upon the desert landscape, hoping to make their fortunes. Among them, a young widow and her two children embark on just such an adventure--for more complicated and heartrending personal reasons. Along the way they join a throng of colorful, unforgettable characters and form the most unexpected bonds.
About the Author
Nancy Zafris is a Flannery O'Connor Award winner for her story collection, The People I Know. Currently the fiction editor of The Kenyon Review, she lives in Columbus, Ohio.