The stories in Rain Shadow are linked by place, each set in the tiny, fictional town of Horned Toad. As these pieces reflect on the importance of the land, the characters and time periods change but the land abides. Roach quotes Tom Lea in her introduction: “Its richness is space, wide and deep and infinitely colored, visible to the jagged mountain rim of the world – huge and challenging space, to evoke huge and challenging freedom.” Roach and Lea are writing of West Texas, my home.
Roach’s colloquial style had me laughing aloud at the candidate for sheriff in “In Broad Daylight” whose platform is elimination of free bosoms: “A Bra on Every Woman. Let’s keep our women Decent and Strapped Down!” Roach is at her Mark Twain best when poking fun at religious pieties and denominational hierarchies. “Just as I Am” reveals summer revival season as told by a fourteen-year-old girl. “Mid-July to August was the season to gather lukewarm Christians, Backsliders, and New Material into the fold.”To read the entire review click here.