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Lucky Strike
by Nancy Zafris

Category: Fiction / Historical
0 pages; ISBN: 1932961046

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner

Review

Lucky Strike
Nancy Zafris
Unbridled, Apr 2005, $23.95
ISBN: 1932961046

In 1954 widow Jean Waterman brings her two children to the Utah desert for two prime reasons. She prays that dry desert air will alleviate the damaged lungs of her son Charlie and that she finds scrap uranium to sell. Her travels into the desert introduce Jean to an assortment of eccentric characters. Some people she meets are traveling salesman Harry who sells Geiger counters and other radioactive related paraphernalia; Jo the youthful child-like spouse of Dawson, a uranium prospector down on his luck but still searching for the mother lode; and Pollyanna optimist Miss Dazzle who owns the remote Stagecoach Oasis motel, which has is own collection of zany folks.

These people bond as each is lonely, but have discovered “family” with the others. Still uranium fever still calls out to the searchers though a form of love blossoms between them.

The key to this intriguing historical character is the irony that the reader knows the effect of radioactivity while the prospectors earn their living searching and selling uranium scrap. The cast comes across as if Bret Harte’s classic the Outcasts of Poker Flat was brought into the Eisenhower era. Similar in tone to Nancy Zafris’ previous distinctive The Metal Shredders, fans will take immense armchair pleasure visiting a unique realm that has a Twilight Zone feel to it yet somehow this talented author makes her characters seem genuine inside a weirdly entertaining 1950s drama.

Harriet Klausner

 

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