Somewhere South of Here
A NovelBook - 2001
With his first novel, Eddie's Bastard, William Kowalski brought to the literary scene an engaging and original voice in fiction. With appealingly offbeat characters, a narrative steeped with imagery and threaded with lyricism, and a story filled with unexpected surprises, Eddie's Bastard earned such praise as "a grand debut" (Gail Godwin), "exuberant" (the New York Times) and "appealing" (People magazine), and marked the emergence of an important writer. Kowalski now fulfills that promise in Somewhere South of Here, the tale of a young man's search for the mother he's never met.
As Billy Mann grew up, his only link to the father who died in Vietnam and the mother who deserted him was his hard-drinking grandfather, Thomas Mann, who raised him on a diet of fried bologna sandwiches and mythic tales of the Mann family ancestry. With Grandpa gone, Billy has lost his only known blood relation and sole link to his heritage. The lone clue he possesses to his mother's whereabouts is her last-known address, somewhere in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Propelled by hope and heartache, Billy sets off on a cross-country odyssey from his home in upstate New York.
Arriving in Santa Fe, carrying every possession he owns on the back of his motorcycle, Billy has taken the first step of an intoxicating journey of the heart as he courageously completes his rite of passage into manhood. Filled with vividly drawn characters, each of them with secrets and secret longings of their own,
Billy's world is suddenly rich with possibility -- the chance for love, friendship, and, finally a family to call his own.
Somewhere South of Here is a lyrical exploration of the stories that make up our lives, the redemptive power of love, and the faith that compels us to go on.