Jacob Wherly, an aging Vietnam veteran, shocked out of his staid existence as an Illiis highway patrolman, begins to live his life as he sees fit outside the established rms of his rural community. This self-styled buffoon befriends a teenage boy who is steeped in religious fundamentalism. Each seeks to convert the other to his world view-young Lenny to lead Jacob toward acceptance of Jesus as his savior and Jacob to nudge Lenny through humor toward an awareness that the unexamined life is t worth living. This comedic vel's protagonist exemplifies what it means to be a baby boomer in the 21st century, suggesting what legacy those post World War II babies might offer to their grandchildren's generation and taking a hard look at the role of war and fundamentalist Christianity in American culture. The reader along the way may also begin to consider parallels between the Vietnam War and our current ventures in Afghanistan through the comic lens of Jacob, who dyes his hair and his house a flaming orange and surrounds himself with cats variously named for persons who figured in the Vietnam era-Madame Nhu, Ho Chi Minh, Melvin Laird and Robert McNamara. This light-hearted yarn on serious subjects will both regale and give the reader pause for thought.
Olivia Diamond books of poetry include: Women at the Well, Land of the Four Quarters: A Poetic History of the Incas, Be Thou A Man: A Poetic Tribute to Saul Alinsky, Please Trespass Here, Playground and Geography of My Bones: Collected Poems. Her novels include The Wheels of Being, The Pluperfect Phantom, Gardens Under Which Rivers Flow, and Gerontion and the Maiden. Her trilogy (Voice of Stone, Conquistadora, and Daughter of the Conquest) dramatizes the story of the Inca Empire from the period immediately before Francisco Pizarro's arrival through the Spanish conquest and colonization of Peru. Her roots are in Illinois, but she now makes her home in northwestern Montana.