Synopses & Reviews
In the summer of 1944, Frank Arnold, a wealthy shipbuilder in Mobile, Alabama, receives his volunteer commission in the U.S. Navy and moves his wife, Ann, and seventeen-year-old son, Josh, to the family's summer home in the village of Corazon Sagrado, high in the New Mexico mountains. A true daughter of the Confederacy, "wrapped up in tissue paper like a Wedgwood egg cup," Mrs. Arnold finds it impossible to cope with the quality of life in the largely Hispanic village and, in the company of Jimbob Buel an insufferable, Virginia-born, South-proud professional houseguest takes to bridge and sherry. Josh, more the son of his Baltimore-raised father than of his class-conscious, Old South mother, becomes an integral member of the Sagrado community, forging friendships with classmates at Helen De Crispin school, with the town's disreputable resident artist, with Chango Lopez macho bully turned model student and with Amadeo and Excilda Montoya, the couple hired by his father to care for their house. Josh narrates the story of his fateful year in Sagrado and, with deadpan, irreverent humor, reveals the events and people who influence his progress to maturity. Unhindered by his mother's disdain for these "tacky, dusty little Westerners," Josh comes into his own and into a young man's finely formed understanding of duty, responsibility, and love.
"Bradford believes in the human comedy the way DiMaggio believes in baseball, the way Nureyev believes in the dance, the way people, no matter what, believe in laughing when they might just as well be weeping." Richard Condon
"[A] sort of Catcher in the Rye out West." Book World
"What makes the book a true delight is the deadpan, irreverent humor with which Josh tells the story....No brief review can do justice to Mr. Bradford's book." Washington Post Book
The classic coming-of-age story set during World War II about the enduring spirit of youth and the values in life that count.
About the Author
Richard Bradford was born in 1932. He is also the author of So Far from Heaven.