Riptide / September 29, 2014 / $6.99, digital / $16.99, print
Elijah Carter is afflicted. Most of the townsfolk of South Pass City treat him as a simpleton because he’s deaf, but that’s not his only problem. Something in Elijah runs contrary to nature and to God. Something that Elijah desperately tries to keep hidden.
Harlan Crane, owner of the Empire saloon, knows Elijah for what he is—and for all the ungodly things he wants. But Crane isn’t the only one. Grady Mullins desires Elijah too, but unlike Crane, he refuses to push the kid.
When violence shatters Elijah’s world, he is caught between two very different men and two devastating urges: revenge, and despair. In a boomtown teetering on the edge of a bust, Elijah must face what it means to be a man in control of his own destiny, and choose a course that might end his life . . . or truly begin it for the very first time.
It's Wyoming, 1870 in Lisa Henry's Sweetwater. Elijah, the adopted son of the town doctor, is seen as mentally handicapped by most people who know him—and they don't even know about his shameful, terrifying feelings. Today he'd be called gay and sexually submissive, but he lives in a time which has no good words for either of those things. And Elijah doesn't trust words anyway. Partially deaf from the scarlet fever that killed his entire family, words for him are a source of struggle to be understood, a tool for others to torment him, and a symbol of a world he can't join.