From the nationally bestselling author of Painted Horses, Malcolm Books returns with a soaring, spirited novel set during the summer of Amelia Earhart’s final flight—a tale of American ingenuity and optimism set against the backdrop of a deepening Great Depression.
The summer of 1937 will be a turning point for fourteen year old Houston “Huck” Finn. When he and a friend find a dead body in a local creek, a rare Lindbergh flight watch on its wrist, it seems like a sign. Huck is building his own airplane, a fact he has concealed from his mother. That summer also marks the arrival of his cousin Annelise, sent to live with the family under mysterious circumstances. As it turns out, she has had flying lessons—another sign. As Huck’s airplane takes shape, so does his burgeoning understanding of the world, including the battle over worldliness vs. godliness that has split Annelise from her family, and, in a quieter way, divides Huck’s family too. And meanwhile, there’s the matter of the watch, which it turns out the dead man’s cohort of bank robbers would very much like back.
In Brooks’ trademark “lush, breathtaking prose” (San Francisco Chronicle on Painted Horses) and with a winking nod to the Sam Clemens who inspired its hero’s nickname, Cloudmaker is a boisterous, heartfelt novel that brings to life the idealism, inventiveness, traditionalism, and deep contradictions of the American spirit.
Praise for Painted Horses:
“Perhaps what really sets Brooks apart as a writer is his lush, breathtaking prose that expertly captures the raw essence of an American West known for its wide-open spaces and unbridled spirit.”—Alexis Burling, San Francisco Chronicle
“Evocative… Brooks’ prose rings true and borders on poetic when he tackles the biggest things in his novel: themes of love, what one is willing to fight for, what to give up for something held more dear and, in the end, what it takes to recover from what has been lost.”—John B. Saul, Seattle Times
“An undisputed ode to the American West.”—USA Today (online)
“Brooks’ prose is lovely and the plot fast-paced, hurtling across the Montana landscape toward a cinematic ending twist.”—William J. Cobb, Dallas Morning News
“A terrific novel right in the vein of Jeffrey Lent’s In The Fall and Leif Enger’s Peace Like a River…What Malcolm Brooks unfolds is a love story, and a story of the creation of America as we know it.”—Miwa Messer, Barnes & Noble Review