From the publisher:
Ten years ago, Tess Cross left her newborn daughter with her sister and hightailed it out of what she called NoWhere, Colorado. Now she returns to the eastern plains of Colorado, full of raw rage at herself and at the universe, yearning for the life she never led and the daughter she left behind. As a levantona who has been running drugs and illegal immigrants beyond the US-Mexican border, she's knowingly entered into a harsh and dangerous world. But suddenly her world has become darker than she can bear: The largest wildfire in Colorado history is blazing. Immigrants are dead. She's haunted by the memory of a Mexican woman she couldn't save and a lost Mexican girl she did. Traffickers--of both immigrants and drugs--are now hunting her down. But most of all, Tess is at the mercy of her own traumatized soul, and the weight of it is cracking her apart. In the act of coming home, Tess must now face her dying mother, her sister, her daughter, and most importantly, herself.
This book broaches timely topics essential in the West--immigration, rural poverty, wildfires--with suspense and gritty wisdom as well as Pritchett's trademark lyricism and grace. Like Libby, her sister and the central character of Pritchett's novel Sky Bridge, Tess has her own coming-of-age in a revelatory story of hard-earned transformation and redemption.
What others are saying
"Pritchett's deep compassion for her characters, her searing honesty, and Tess's complex quest for redemption in the raw landscape of Nowhere, Colorado illuminate this fine and compelling novel. Don't miss this book.”
"In Red Lightening, Laura Pritchett has given her readers a deeply beautiful and suspenseful new novel, one with the central questions: how much does a human life matter? And, how strong are the ties that bind us to family? This is a powerful book, one that I didn’t want to end.”
"Laura Pritchett is a writer whose prose is as passionate as it is intelligent. Hers is a rare talent that does not let her compassion for humanity get in the way of her attention to the paradoxes of being human, nor its obligations. Red Lightning is a star in the West: a smart, tender, crisp piece of work about the opportunities for redemption and blessings that exist in every hour.”
"Set against the harsh beauty of the high desert, Red Lightning is a vividly original exploration of the tangled web connecting mothers and daughters, siblings and strangers. When the dangerous secrets of border crossings threaten to ignite a family's hard-won sanctuary, each character struggles for a calibrated balance between freedom and love. A daring and dazzling book."
"Laura Pritchett's Red Lightning is a gut-wrenching tale of a woman's search for redemption, and her deeply moving journey toward making herself whole. Pritchett's prose is poetic and raw, vividly painting the landscape of a small Eastern Colorado town at the edge of fire and drought, and the interior landscape of a brokenwoman's last-ditch effort to save herself and those she loves. Tess's unique voice offers us hard-won bits of wisdom. A gorgeous and powerful story of coming home to face the truth.”