St. Agnes' Stand: A Novel
July 1858: Nat Swanson, a bullet in his leg and bone-weary, flees across the New Mexico desert from a vengeful posse. Back in west Texas, he killed a man over a woman whose name he never knew, and now he’s on the run to California, his only hope for a new life the ranch deed in his pocket.
In a dry riverbed, Nat spots two overturned wagons surrounded by Apaches. The only sign of a survivor is his quick glimpse of an old woman’s face–a face that forces a stark decision. Nat can ride on and save himself, or stay and try to save the stranded and doomed party. Sister St. Agnes, huddled between the wagons with her fellow nuns and the orphans in their care, somehow knows that God will answer her prayers and send a savior to deliver them from evil.
As death shadows the dusty arroyo, the forsaken canyon becomes a place of destiny where a courageous nun and an embattled man confront their fates together.
“Taut, spare, visual prose reminiscent of Larry McMurtry.”
“This debut is highly recommended . . . so alive, so exciting . . . heart-wrenching and heartwarming.”
“Compelling . . . a powerful feat of storytelling.”
–The Irish Times
“Eidson has emerged as a major contemporary voice . . . [His] novels are set in the Old West, but his characters are scraping for a foothold on the frontier of the soul.”
–The Advocate & Greenwich Time
Winner of the Golden Spur Award and the W. H. Smith Thumping Good Read Award
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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