On the parched high desert of the Arizona Territory, Nora measures her days by drops. Lured to the mining settlement by her restless husband and dried to flint, Nora shapes a life out of little as she fights to stay on ground long played out. When Emmett fails to return from a search for water, their oldest boys light out to chase whispers of ambush and murder, leaving Nora with her youngest son, her clairvoyant, simple-minded niece and her aged mother-in-law. And always, the voice of her long-dead daughter. After a lifetime mired in misadventure among shady companions, Lurie accompanies a camel caravan west as part of an ill-conceived experiment powered by the US Army. Haunted by his past, Lurie breaks from the caravan on his favorite camel and the pair crisscross the West in their “suffering journey” before colliding with Nora. Obreht crafts a mystical mirage of gritty realism that deserves to be read and reread for its sheer beauty. - Vicki Ann Duraine, Southwest Books of the Year 2019, Pima County Public Library

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