How can you be lonely when you have four wives, twenty-eight children, a devoted dog, and the possibility of a new mistress? Golden Richards, the inept-at-everything title character, manages to feel utterly alone even while surrounded by the chaos that is his life. Told alternately by Golden, Trish, his fourth and youngest wife, and Rusty, his lovably aggravating son, The Lonely Polygamist is funny and heartbreaking, richly written by a superb storyteller.
In Michael Parker’s new novel, Joel Dunn Jr. tells the story of how he did everything he could to save his family after his mother left and his father’s tenuous hold on sanity unraveled. On a journey from the town of Trent, North Carolina, to the coast, Joel and his little brother Tank thread their way back to their mother, fueled by potato chips, Coke, and the soundtrack of the powerful soul music that their daddy taught them to love. Always keeping the faith that their mother is waiting for them, they move from one kindly stranger to another on their odyssey, Joel ever certain they are being guided to her door: “I was being passed from person to person,” he says, “on my way back into her wide open window.”
Caught between the endless idealism of childhood and the sobering tests of adulthood, Joel and Tank bravely negotiate their way through a landscape of love and beauty, abandonment and betrayal, to learn that the one sure thing is often right by your side.