Midheaven, Ken Kuhlken’s first novel, originally published by Viking Press, has since become book 8 in the Tom Hickey and Family crime series.
The haunting story, honored as a Finalist for the Ernest Hemingway Award for Best First Fiction Book, set in and around the exquisite Lake Tahoe basin, is told by a precocious seventeen-year-old torn between her quest for God and her love for a man.
During the early 1970s, in a paradise fast becoming a millionaires’ playground, a high school senior, troubled by her father’s gambling and the arrogance of her wealthy peers, turns from drugs and boys to radical Christianity. But when she falls for her English teacher, a gambler and dedicated unbeliever, hard choices test her will, her faith, and her love. And tragic results threaten her sanity.
Anne Tyler, as Chair of the Ernest Hemingway Award selection committee, wrote, “The pace, clarity and assurance of Midheaven make it a pleasure to read.”
From Kirkus Reviews: “Kuhlken has, with Jodi, created a character new to us–the born again adolescent who’s in-the-know–and he provides her with grit and honesty.”
Novelist Andy Straka commented, “Midheaven is one of those rare gems of a novel that sneaks up on you and nestles in your soul. I especially enjoyed the setting and character development. The sun-dappled mountains and cold water beauty of Lake Tahoe hold too many secrets for a teenage girl to bear. Jodi is a character you won’t soon forget.”