It is the year 1972, and Riley Hartley finds that he, his family, community, and his faith are entirely indistinguishable from each other. He is eleven. A young woman named Lucy claims God has revealed to her that she is to live with Riley’s family. Her quirks are strangely disarming, her relentless questioning of their life incendiary and sometimes comical. Her way of taking religious practice to its logical conclusion leaves a strong impact on her hosts and propels Riley outside his observable universe toward a trajectory of self-discovery.
Set in Provo and New York City during the seventies and eighties, the story encapsulates the normal expectations of a Mormon experience and turns them on their head. The style, too, is innovative in how it employs as narrator “Zed,” one of the apocryphal Three Nephites who, with another immortal figure, the Wandering Jew of post-biblical legend, engage regularly in light-hearted banter and running commentary, animating the story and leavening the heartache with humor and tenderness.
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The narrator of this novel originated in a short story of mine published in 2011. I actually re-wrote an earlier manuscript of Dream House on Golan Drive using "Zed," short for "Zedekiah," as the narrator. Zed is an immortal who has lived and traveled the earth for over 2,000 years. He and the post-biblical "Wandering Jew" give a running commentary on the action of the book, and sometimes Zed even makes an appearance. When you write "close to the bone" as I routinely do, your work can be sanctimonious, cruel and, well, insufferable. Or, as I hope happens in this effort, it can evolve into a tale that implicates the protagonist, at times the narrator, and, yes, especially the author in a fragile but luminous world that is both dark and enchanting, both critical and celebratory of real life. I hope you enjoy Dream House on Golan Drive.About the Author:
David G. Pace has published in Huffington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, American Theatre, Alligator Juniper, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, ellipsis, Phone Fiction, Quarterly West, Sunstone and elsewhere. Winner of Association for Mormon Letters and Dialogue Foundation Best Short Awards, Pace continues to follow his muse as the literary editor of 15 Bytes Magazine at artistsofutah.org
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