Description: Arizona, 1971. Fifteen year-old Jim lives with his father in a series of small towns across the southern edges of the state. Jim's father will leave a town as soon as the debts get too high or the prospects too dim, only to set up further down the road to start the same cycle over again. One fall day in the early 1970s, the two end up in Gila Bend, Arizona, a hot little desert hole. Jim's father takes a job as a desk clerk at the Desert Gem Motel, and here the two meet Alida McGowan, a young woman who comes in one afternoon on the arm of a trucker. Alida soon moves in with Jim and his father, and becomes the father's girlfriend and the focus of all of Jim's attentions. She is the first woman that has ever spent significant time around Jim, and her presence unearths a tangle of feelings that he can neither make sense of nor ignore.
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