Her first novel, Where the Heart Is, was a selection of Oprah's Book Club(tm), won the Walker Percy Award, and became a #1 New York Times bestseller. Now Billie Letts returns with a tale filled with taut suspense, emotional truth, and what she is known and loved for most-authentically portrayed characters from America's heartland...
SHOOT THE MOON
In 1972, windswept DeClare, Oklahoma, was consumed by a terrifying crime: the murder of a young mother, Gaylene Harjo, and the disappearance of her baby, Nicky Jack. When the child's pajama bottoms were discovered on the banks of Willow Creek, everyone feared that he, too, had been killed, although his body was never found.
Now, nearly thirty years later, Nicky Jack mysteriously returns to DeClare, shocking the town with his sudden reappearance and stirring up long-buried memories. But what he discovers about the night he vanished is far more than he, or anyone, bargains for. Piece by piece, what emerges is a story of dashed hopes, desperate love, and an act with repercussions that still cry out for justice...and redemption.
Having sold 3.2 million copies of Where the Heart Was, Letts returns with the tale of Nicky Jack Harjo, who mysteriously disappeared from DeClare, OK, as a baby and then puts in an appearance 30 years later. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
Grand Central Publishing
June 30, 2005
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Shoot the Moon by Billie Letts
His early morning flight from Los Angeles had been delayed for nearly two hours because of fog. Plenty of time for him to back out, just let it all go. Once he even grabbed his bag and left the terminal, but he changed his mind. Again.
After boarding, he found himself seated next to an elderly woman who was weeping quietly. She was still crying when, twenty minutes later, she offered a whispered apology, but he pretended sleep. Whatever her problem was, he didn't want to hear it. He had no interest in hearing people whine.
When she left her seat to go to the lavatory, he slipped from the first-class cabin and found an empty row near the back of the plane.
For a while he tried to read but gave it up when he felt a headache coming on. He hadn't slept at all the night before, hadn't even gone to bed. Instead, he'd spent the hours sitting on his balcony, trying to persuade himself not to make this trip.
Then, just before five that morning, he'd phoned to make his flight reservation, left a vague message on his receptionist's answering machine and pulled a suitcase from his closet.
Now, with his stomach churning from too much airport coffee, his knees wedged against the seat in front of him, his body heavy with fatigue, he decided that when the plane landed, he'd give this up. Take the next available flight back to L.A.
But he didn't.
After he picked up his rental, a Mitsubishi Eclipse, and a map at Tulsa International Airport, he headed east.
The Avis blue-chip car, the only convertible available, wouldn't have been his first choice; he drove a Jaguar XK8 in L.A. But even before he drove out of the city, he realized he'd underestimated the Oklahoma heat, well over a hundred, with humidity so high that his shirt was plastered to his back despite the hot wind.
The two-hour drive took him through mostly empty country, the highway skirting towns called Coweta, Tullahassee, Oktaha--names that conjured scenes of Gene Autry movies.
He arrived in DeClare before dark, then checked into the Riverfront Motel, which looked just a little more inviting than the White Buffalo Inn at the edge of town or a decrepit hotel called the Saddletree a few blocks away.
His room was about what he expected. Drab and cramped, smaller even than the dorm room he'd lived in at Tufts for five years. Behind the drapes he found sliding glass doors leading to a balcony that overlooked a river backed by woods of towering pines.
He didn't bother to unpack, but he hadn't brought much anyway. He wasn't planning to stick around long.
The motel restaurant was crowded, according to his waitress, because it was Thursday.
"Catfish night," she explained, managing to turn "night" into a three-syllable word. "All you can eat for six ninety-five."
"Is it baked?" he asked, a question she thought was hilarious.
"You're not an Okie, are you? Only one way to fix catfish, and that's to fry it. You want baked fish, be here for the Sunday buffet. We have baked cod then. But come before noon, 'cause when the churches let out, this place is packed."
"I'll be gone before Sunday."
"Not staying long, huh?"
Though he'd already framed the lie, he hesitated. Another chance to back out.