Fourth of July Creek by Henderson
“A not-to-be-missed first novel.”—Janet Maslin, New York Times
“This book left me awestruck; a stunning debut which reads like the work of a writer at the height of his power.”—Philipp Meyer, author of The Son
“An astonishing read.”—Kevin Powers, bestselling author of The Yellow Birds
“Fourth of July Creek knocked me flat. . . . Smith Henderson has delivered nothing less than a masterpiece.”—Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
When he tries to help Benjamin Pearl, an undernourished, nearly feral eleven-year-old boy living in the Montana wilderness, social worker Pete Snow comes face-to-face with the boy’s disturbed father, Jeremiah. A paranoid survivalist, Jeremiah trusts no one and itches for a final conflict that will signal the End Times.
Despite his good intentions, Pete is powerless to save troubled families like the Pearls—including his own. His problems escalate when the FBI arrives looking for Jeremiah, putting Pete at the center of a massive manhunt from which no one will emerge unscathed.
Set in the 1980s, Fourth of July Creek is a shattering and iconic novel that explores the complexities of freedom, community, grace, suspicion, and anarchy, brilliantly depicting our nation’s disquieting and violent contradictions.
“Stunning. The language, the setting, the characters, their spirit, their damage. All of it. Everyone is splintered. Everything needs a helping hand. . . . This isn’t the light, summer read . . . but its exceptionally enjoyable and we can’t recommend it enough.”—Entertainment Weekly