Set in Nevada during the great depression of the thirties, the story follows the fortunes of a seven-year-old boy for six of his formative years. Against the backdrop of the great migration of homeless persons journeying west in search of jobs, the boy makes a place for himself in a rural setting. He and his pal roam the riverbanks, “borrow” horses and stay just a jump ahead of real trouble.
From rafting on the Truckee river, to hunting, fishing and trapping in this unspoiled Eden, the story propels the reader from one adventure to another, through this juvenile’s naïve and newly formed perceptions.
The boy must learn to co-exist with a mother who is a martinet and a father, who though helpful peripherally, does nothing to protect his son from the brutality of his mother. The lush pasture lands of the valley and the barren desert foothills provide both a refuge and an escape into a “Huck Finn” life style.