Synopses & Reviews
When, after years of secrecy, Ariel Rankin learns that her birth father is not who she had always believed he was, but rather a man named Kip Calder who went to Vietnam before she was born and then disappeared into Laos as a covert warrior, her world is shaken to its core. When she herself becomes pregnant by a man who wants no part of parenthood, Ariel realizes she can no longer elude her buried past if she is to have any future. She decides to leave behind her life in New York City and everything she knows to head west to find the mysterious Calder.
Ariel's search will lead her from the holy village of Chimayó, New Mexico, to Los Alamos and the pueblo valley of Nambé, and ultimately across the restricted badlands of the White Sands proving grounds. Morrow conjures an array of dynamic, strong- willed individualists whose own distinct quests for home converge with Ariel's. Audaciously weaving social with magic realism, he offers a rhapsodic portrait of how faith, family, and self-identity are inscribed in each of us, uneasy heritages it is our burden to discover and embrace.
"[A] powerful, multilayered novel....The first half of the novel is near-brilliant....The novel fades down the stretch, mostly due to overcomplicated subplots....These problems aside, this is yet another outstanding, thought-provoking novel from one of America's major literary voices..." Publishers Weekly
"Morrow...dissects the bonds of family and land, ponders questions of integrity and faith, and assesses the toll the nuclear menace exacts from our collective soul." Donna Seaman, Booklist
"[T]he shallow characters and silly plots are submerged by melodrama not unlike that of the daytime soap operas a real surprise from Morrow..." Library Journal
"Ariel's Crossing assumes the reader's indulgence in its meandering pace and often overheated prose....The story sags under all its intellectual baggage....Each time the narration pauses for a political or philosophical or scientific or religious lecture...we fall from the gloriously fictive to the merely hypothetical." John Biguenet, The Washington Post
"[R]ichly layered....As with many family reunions, the ending of Ariel's Crossing is bittersweet. In Morrow's masterful, poignant novel, the term 'nuclear family' has more than one meaning." Stephen J. Lyons, Boston Herald
"In all, Ariel's Crossing succeeds, with Morrow blowing hard on what might have been burned-out coals, drawing new flame from the embers....The language...is, for the most part, a fluent, efficient medium, unobtrusively carrying the story along....[A] fairly old-fashioned morality tale, and read together with Trinity Fields, it offers a panoramic view of postwar American obsessions, paranoias and moral problems." Jay Parini, The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Bradford Morrow is the author of the novels Come Sunday, The Almanac Branch (a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist), Trinity Fields (a Los Angeles Times Book Award finalist), and Giovanni's Gift. In 1998, the American Academy of Arts and Letters presented him with an Academy Award in Literature. A professor of literature at Bard College, he is founder and editor of the literary journal Conjunctions.