Booklist Reviews 2016 June #1
On the unforgiving plains of Colorado, the town of Lions is barely eking out an existence. The fields are barren, the stores have closed, and the shuttered factory is just a hangout for Gordon Walker and his girlfriend, Leigh, in their last summer before college. But before fall arrives, a stranger and his dog wander through. They are fed and welcomed by the Walker family but get a cooler reception at the town's only bar. One misunderstanding later, and the town will never be the same. Rumors, accusations, and the hottest summer yet cause an exodus from the already dwindling Lions. When his father dies suddenly, Gordon is faced with a difficult decision: follow Leigh to college or stay to take care of his mother and the mysterious chore the Walker men have been responsible for generation after generation. Nadzam's (Lamb, 2011) knack for powerful storytelling establishes the mystery of this dying town as a truly American fairy tale, while her unforgettable characters elevate the legend to an introspective meditation on love, loyalty, and ambition. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2016 February #2
Winner of the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, Nadzam's Lamb focused on an uneasy relationship between two troubled souls. This second work opens up to capture an entire town: Lions, CO, built on dreams of a glorious future but now a desolate, wind-swept bust. When his father dies, Gordon must decide whether to leave for college as planned or loyally stay behind to tend the family business.[Page 72]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
LJ Reviews 2016 June #1
Childhood friends Gordon Walker and Leigh Ransom plan to attend college together in the fall, but over the summer, unsettling events in the dying Colorado Plains town of Lions ruin those intentions. Businesses close and residents leave for a better life elsewhere. The derelict sugar beet factory and the rusted grain elevator prompt the few remaining townspeople to post a sign by the highway turnoff dubbing it a "living ghost town." The Walkers aren't leaving, having lived in the community for many generations. John Walker has a welding business, but he has never made any money. For decades he has been obsessed with delivering supplies to a remote cabin once inhabited by a starving settler. After John's death, Gordon pulls away from Leigh and assumes his father's mysterious obligation. A drowning in the town's water tower adds to the gloomy legends and ghost stories. At summer's end, Leigh is ready to leave the hard, dusty town, but the transition to college is tragically unsuccessful for Gordon, who is drawn back to Lions, despite a lack of prospects. VERDICT Nadzam's second novel (after the Lamb) is strong witness to the collapse of a town, what the ruins and piles of brick once represented, and the cost to the human spirit.—Donna Bettencourt, Mesa Cty. P.L., Grand Junction, CO[Page 84]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
PW Reviews 2016 May #2
Nadzam's (Lamb) somber and memorable novel is a tale of a small, dying American town, a victim of economic despair, bad weather, and population apathy. Lions, Colo., is an arid high-plains farming community with barely a pulse. It's 2013 and most businesses and farms are gone, along with most of the people. Those who remain, including the Walker family, see their lives circling the drain. Teenager Gordon Walker and his girlfriend, Leigh Ransom, plan a happy future together anywhere but in Lions. When a stranger walks into town, their future evaporates, and a series of strange disasters befalls the town. Lions's population is 117, but it won't take long for that number to shrink drastically; residents can't even drink the water. Meanwhile, with his father on his deathbed, Gordon is asked to perform a peculiar task that will forever change the boy's life. Gordon becomes more and more withdrawn and morose, and Leigh worries they will never leave Lions. Nadzam weaves a strange and mesmerizing story, and by the end, the community of Lions reaches mythic status. Agent: Kate Johnson, Wolf Literary. (July)[Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC