Trinity Sight, poet Jennifer Givhan's (Protection Spell) debut novel, is more than a dystopian road trip. Lyrical language and indigenous traditions elevate it into a nuanced examination of faith in the face of cataclysm. The story opens with hints of societal breakdowns caused by the irreversible effects of climate change. Floods, fires and shortages lead to an unsettled and sometimes violent society that only reacts to the changes: "Mother Earth, when she is fed up, will shake herself off."
Archeologist Calliope Santiago is driving in New Mexico when long-dormant volcanoes erupt. Along with burning buildings and overturned vehicles, unbelievably, almost everyone disappears. Calliope, pregnant with twins, can't find her family. She and two surviving neighbors set out to search for their kin. When they meet Chance, a Zuni and a scientist like Calliope, who's also trying to find his family, they form a bond that strengthens their efforts. "I have a feeling my people are unscathed. We're survivors," Chance tells Calliope. Ghosts, dreams and murderous mythical creatures stalk the small group. None of it makes sense to Calliope, who doesn't believe in the Christian Rapture story but, as Chance tells her, "The white man's bible is only one end-of-the-world myth." Calliope thinks maybe "Mother Earth had unfolded herself... spiraling them here, across some hidden fourth dimension of space and across space into this parallel." And if that's so, what will the world look like if they get back? This is an original, emotional story written by a master of imaginative language. --Cindy Pauldine, bookseller, the river's end bookstore, Oswego, N.Y.