Skip to main content

Red Sky at Morning

About the Book

Red Sky at Morning

In the summer of 1944, Frank Arnold, a wealthy shipbuilder in Mobile, Alabama, receives his volunteer commission in the U.S. Navy and moves his wife, Ann, and seventeen-year-old son, Josh, to the family's summer home in the village of Corazon Sagrado, high in the New Mexico mountains. A true daughter of the Confederacy, "wrapped up in tissue paper like a Wedgwood egg cup," Mrs. Arnold finds it impossible to cope with the quality of life in the largely Hispanic village and, in the company of Jimbob Buel--an insufferable, Virginia-born, South-proud professional houseguest--takes to bridge and sherry. Josh, more the son of his Baltimore-raised father than of his class-conscious, Old South mother, becomes an integral member of the Sagrado community, forging friendships with classmates at Helen De Crispin school, with the town's disreputable resident artist, with Chango Lopez--macho bully turned model student--and with Amadeo and Excilda Montoya, the couple hired by his father to care for their house. Josh narrates the story of his fateful year in Sagrado and, with deadpan, irreverent humor, reveals the events and people who influence his progress to maturity. Unhindered by his mother's disdain for these "tacky, dusty little Westerners," Josh comes into his own and into a young man's finely formed understanding of duty, responsibility, and love. One of America's finest coming-of-age novels, Red Sky at Morning remains a "first novel to rejoice in" (Harper's) and "a novel of consequence" (New York Times Book Review).

Red Sky at Morning
by Richard Bradford

  • Publication Date: May 5, 1999
  • Paperback: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics
  • ISBN-10: 0060931906
  • ISBN-13: 9780060931902