In the Mojave Desert, at the southern end of the isolated Moapa Valley, sat the town of St. Thomas, Nevada. A small community that thrived despite scorching temperatures and scarce water, St. Thomas was home to hardy railroad workers, farmers, shopkeepers, teachers, and a lone auto mechanic named Henry Lord.
Born and raised in St. Thomas, Lord lived in a small home beside his garage with his son, Thomas, his daughter-in-law, Ellen, and his grandson, "Little" Henry. All lived happily until the stroke of a pen by President Coolidge authorizing the construction of the Boulder (Hoover) Dam. Within a decade, more than 250 square miles of desert floor would become flooded by the waters of the Colorado River, and St. Thomas would be no more.
In the early 1930s, the federal government began buying out the residents of St. Thomas, yet the hardheaded Henry Lord, believing the water would never reach his home, refused to sell. It was a mistake that would cost himand his familydearly.
Lords of St. Thomasdetails the tragedies and conflicts endured by a family fighting an unwinnable battle, and their hectic and terrifying escape from the flood waters that finally surge across the threshold of their front door. Surprisingly, it also shows that, sometimes, you can go home again, as Little Henry returns to St. Thomas 60 years later, after Lake Mead recedes, to retrieve a treasure he left behindand to fulfill a promise he made as a child.
|Publisher:||Green Writers Press|
|Product dimensions:||7.67(w) x 8.49(h) x 0.43(d)|
About the Author
Jackson Ellis is a writer and editor from Vermont who has also spent time living in Nevada and Montana. His short fiction has previously appeared in The Vermont Literary Review, Sheepshead Review, Broken Pencil, The Birmingham Arts Journal, East Coast Literary Review, Midwest Literary Magazine, and The Journal of Microliterature. He is the co-publisher of VerbicideMagazine.com, which he founded in 1999.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
It's the beginning of the 1930s and St. Thomas is a thriving small town. This changes when the government starts planning to build the Boulder Dam and buys out everyone who's interested in selling. Many of the inhabitants are leaving their homes and businesses behind. The Lord family is an exception though. Henry's grandfather doesn't want to take the government's money and thinks the water won't flood his house. He doesn't believe it will ever reach that far. He wants to stay where he is, because it's the home he's always known and is refusing to leave, accepting the consequences of his decision. Henry's father would like to get out of St. Thomas, he does believe the water will eventually reach their house and there aren't many opportunities for young people in a town that's slowly becoming abandoned. Henry is growing up under the constant influence and threat of the water, what is the effect on his life? Who is right, his father or his grandfather, and what is the price the family will have to pay because of this new dam? Lords of St. Thomas is a beautiful impressive story. Henry is used to living with family disagreements. The dam is a frequent topic of discussion in their home. Henry's grandfather doesn't want to move out of St. Thomas. Even though almost everyone moves away, he's determined to stay and won't leave his house. I found his stubbornness admirable and naive at the same time, which is a fabulous combination. Henry is a sweet boy, he loves his parents very much and would do anything for them. He's also wise and observant, which makes the story incredibly interesting. While the water is rising it takes away a lot and my heart ached for the small boy who has to deal with so much heartbreak. I couldn't turn the pages quickly enough to find out what would happen to Henry and his family and read his story in one sitting. Jackson Ellis has a fantastic descriptive writing style. He makes his story come to life in an amazing vivid way. I was fascinated by the history of the dam, the vast implications of this project and the effect on everyone living near it. I could easily picture the emotional turmoil of the Lord family and I was captivated by the gripping storyline. I liked the multiple layers, the versatility and the inevitability of this book. Lords of St. Thomas is a gorgeous story. I fell in love with it straight from the beginning and highly recommend it.