Tuesday, June 9, 2015
The Jesus Cow by Michael Perry
But there are those who want things to change. That includes the local developer, a man who gets his way by intimidation and money and who has targeted Harley's remaining acres to fulfill his dream of making Swivel a moneymaker development. Harley's acres stand in his way of him owning the land around an interstate exit with its possibilities of fast-food restaurants and cheap hotels.
Then the miracle happens. Harley's cow, Tina, gives birth to a calf on Christmas Eve. The calf is born with markings that are the face of Jesus. Everyone who sees it notices that immediately. Harley's best friend says Harley should show the calf for money but Harley just wants to keep on living his quiet life.
But that isn't going to happen. Word of the Jesus Cow gets out and soon there are flocks of people, vying to see the miracle and willing to pay to do so. Harley and his new girlfriend must decide how to handle this bonanza, and their decisions make for a hilarious ride for the reader.
Michael Perry is known for his memoirs of life in rural America. He is a former nurse and EMT who lives with his family on a small farm in a small town like Swivel where the way of life is rapidly disappearing. This is his first fiction novel, and his gentle skewing of people and the rush of development is interesting as well as entertaining. The reader will find himself firmly in Harley's camp as they read to see what will happen next. This book is recommended for readers who are interested in small town life and an exploration of human nature.