ELEPHANT LAKEa novel by John M. Daniel
It’s a magic summer for eight-year-old Davy Llewellyn. He battles a dragon. He rides through a savannah on an elephant. He leaps from the roof and flies to the moon.
Unfortunately, he must come back to earth, where the magic is dark and there’s a skull in the attic.
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What is Davy to make of his mother, who turns into “The Evening Rose” at cocktail hour; or his Uncle Fergus, a wizard who does Elephant Magic; or his Uncle Mike, whose life is a shambles? Luckily Davy has an ally, his cousin Lily. And luckily, they both can fly.
Set in the summer of 1950, Elephant Lake takes place at an elegant country estate eighty miles southest of Dallas, Texas. The story is told from the point of view of Davy Llewellyn, an eight-year-old boy who is trying to figure out the adults in his life: his mother, Rose, an alcoholic and depressed widow; his Uncle Fergus, an oil tycoon and Republican power broker who does magic for children; and his Uncle Mike, a has-been athlete and Hollywood playboy. Davy’s ally is his cousin, Lily, a self-conscious adolescent with enough sense to know her elders are fools. Davy’s escape is an eerie imagination that gives him the power of flight and leads him into encounters with a crimson dragon, a human skull, and an elephant named Boola Boola.
Much happens in the summer of 1950 at Elephant Lake. A boy jumps off a roof. A field catches fire and is saved by an elephant. A bulldog battles a dragon to the death. Geronimo’s skull is discovered in a dusty attic. A girl falls off a roof. A future president of the United States smashes the windows of an abandoned farmhouse. A drunk man dives from a roof. A boy and a girl hop onto a flying horse and fly into the stars.
Elephant Lake is a novel about alcohol, depression, and death, but it is even more about love, adventure, fantasy, and flight.
JOHN M. DANIEL is a freelance editor and writer. He has published dozens of stories in literary magazines and is the author of ten books, including two mystery novels, The Poet’s Funeral and Vanity Fire, published by Poisoned Pen Press. He and his wife, Susan, own a small-press publishing company. They live in Humboldt County, California, with their wise cat companion, Warren.http://www.danielpublishing.com/jmd/index.html