Champion bull-rider Joe Willie Wolfchild is poised to win the most sought after title in rodeo when a devastating accident at the National Finals leaves his body and ambitions in tatters. Unsure what to do, he retires to his family ranch to mend.
Claire Hartley and her fifteen-year-old son Aiden have nearly been torn apart by her abusive boyfriends and an unjust world when a friend sends them to the Wolfchild ranch. Thrown together by terrible circumstance, it appears Aiden and Joe Willie have more in common than their childhoods would suggest. After a rocky start, they strike a deal: Aiden will help Joe Willie repair his ’34 Ford V8 pickup if the former champion teaches the city kid how to ride a bull. As Wagamese reveals their story, he rewrites the history of the American cowboy.
In taut, muscular prose, Wagamese explores how independence, self-determination, and a return to cultural tradition can heal body, mind, and community.
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Praise and Prizes
“A very funny writer with an eye for the absurd ironic detail, Richard Wagamese divined the secrets of human scars and knew that broken people are the strangest and most extraordinary people of all.”
“Richard Wagamese is a born storyteller, and Dream Wheels is his finest book yet. Cover to cover, a ripping read.”
“With an opening passage reminiscent of William Faulkner, Richard Wagamese grabs the reader and envelops them effortlessly in the emotions and atmosphere of unfamiliar territory. . . . Dream Wheels will delight cowboy literature fans, readers looking for a gorgeous turn of phrase, those interested in Native culture, or anyone simply after an engaging and satisfying story.”
“A worthy testament to the healing power of family and tradition.”
“Richard Wagamese’s soaring descriptions of the desert landscape, action-packed rodeo scenes, and reverence for hearth and home will strike a chord with readers.”
“A serene, beautiful debut . . . Uncomplicated and unforced, allowing layers of faith to unfold with a natural grace and wisdom.”