The hardscrabble desert land of New Mexico is the perfect setting for Percival Everettâ€™s new novel, ASSUMPTION, mainly because it mirrors the protagonistâ€™s character incredibly well. Ogden Walker is a deputy in the sheriffâ€™s office in the small town of Plata, where he serves after a brief stint in the army. Plata might be where mom Eva Walker lives but Ogden finds her presence not enough of a comfort to overcome his unease with his mixed African American heritage (he is biracial) or his general malaise with what seems to be a dead-end career. He finds it hard to be content hunting for the small fish even if a colleague tells him, â€śA big fish is fun, I suppose, but so are small ones sometimes. Depends on the water. If I catch a ten-incher in a creek thatâ€™s two foot wide, thatâ€™s a big fish.â€ť
Every now and then, a â€śstealth bookâ€ť comes along â€“ one that surprises you, captures you in its grip, and doesnâ€™t let go until you turn the last page. THE GHOST OF MILAGRO CREEK is such a book.
THE GHOST OF MILAGRO CREEK is such a book.
I expected this book to be something else entirely â€“ a light mystery about two blood brothers who vied for the same gringo girl in the Cain-and-Abel tradition. In reality, the book is lyrical, poignant, and from time to time, electrifying. It depicts the life of the Taos barrio colorfully and â€“ in my mind â€“ authentically.