Paradise Sky

Mulholland: Little, Brown. Jun. 2015. 416p. ISBN 9780316329378. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316329354. F
OrangeReviewStarThe latest novel from Lansdale (The Thicket) revolves around an unfortunate misunderstanding that leads Ruggert, a local landowner, to seek vengeance against a young African American man, Willie. Ruggert and his men kill Willie's father, and Willie flees his Texas home. Loving, a Civil War veteran, takes Willie under his wing and teaches him how to shoot and ride a horse. When Loving dies, Willie renames himself Nat Love in honor of his mentor and heads to the town of Deadwood in South Dakota Territory, where he befriends Wild Bill Hickock, among other colorful characters. When Ruggert hears that Nat is living in Deadwood, he sets out after the young man again.
VERDICT Loosely based on the true story of African American cowboy Nat Love (1854–1921), this fast-paced Western with its multicultural cast of characters is a winner. Readers of Patrick deWitt's The Sisters Brothers will welcome Love's sense of humor and resilience in the midst of the rough-and-tumble American West. [See Prepub Alert, 12/15/14.]
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