Drunken preachers, pans full of dirt and hope, and a ‘one-woman bordello’ make Soho’s newest gold rush novel, Crown of Dust, one of the most jaw-dropping, original novels we’ve come across yet. Mary Volmer dives deep into one of the most chaotic, exciting times in American history never written about, bringing contemporary humor to bear on the quirky situations of the past.
‘Golden Boy’ Alex Ford finds a niche in the rough, all-man town of Motherlode by disguising herself as a young man. With the curious patronage of the town’s matron and innkeeper, Emaline, Alex is able to keep her secret safe and stay one step ahead of her bloody past, but when she strikes gold, the whole town’s attention falls on her and suddenly the rough dudes of Motherlode are looking a lot harder at the slender, quiet boy they’ve been slapping on the back for the past few months. We could tell you more, things that would have you gaping at the screen, or laughing in disbelief, but if you want to find out why Crown of Dust is on The New York Times’ radar, or what happens when one of these gold-crazy mountain men realizes there’s something about that golden boy he can’t resist, go digging in your local bookstore. There be gold in them shelves.