A teenage boy wanting to build an airplane and a young woman wishing to emulate Amelia Earhart are the protagonists of a depression era novel of hope, optimism, striving and the bonds of family and friendship that can not only teach life lessons but also overcome adversity. Set in the open landscape of Montana, Malcolm Brooks seamlessly uses a terrain he knows intimately and obviously loves dearly into a crucial piece of his narrative, making it a character in its own way. He also puts his professional knowledge of carpentry to good use in the construction of the plane, some of the details becoming crucial to the plot. Painted Horses was an exceptional work and Brooks' newest effort shines with a beauty that reflects its setting, also through his exceptional use of prose to describe place, people, and era.— Bill
From the author of the national bestseller Painted Horses, a novel set during the Age of Aviation, in which a young tinkerer and an aspiring pilot building their own airplane unexpectedly come into possession of a rare Lindbergh flight watch owned by a bank robber whose fellow criminals want it back.
From the nationally bestselling author of Painted Horses, Malcolm Brooks 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.