The Joshua Tree
“A gentle, musical, multilayered novel which draws deeply, intimately, and authentically on the locales of Arizona, the northern California mountains, Death Valley, and above all the high Mohave desert.
“The story of 'The Joshua Tree' is presented in a unique style achieved through the voices of Will Spear (based on the legendary Bill Keys whose grave is in the Joshua Tree National Park) and Lily, a 1960’s California girl.
“Cabot sees people in depth and time as souls alive in the wandering generations, the waves of migration, settlement, conquest, and loss, as characters caught in the larger cycles of nature, much as plants that flower and send their seeds on the winds of time and chance.
“Such a view of American Man and woman, as being in and of nature, is anti-establishment in that Cabot refuses to accept the illusions that fixed institutions and family hierarchies construct around themselves. ‘The Joshua Tree’ is created as a visionary monologue singing and speaking out of the profound depths of nature. It is thus a regenerative, optimistic, and hopeful novel, and the voice that imparts the ground tone is the meditation of the Joshua tree itself, standing as witness to the living creatures of the high desert.
“Of great interest is that Cabot has taken a great risk in attempting this novel as a poem of life; such work can easily plunge into bathos if there is hesitation, loss of control, or preciosity. What keeps the work marvelously together is the author’s mastery of words, of places, times, his sense of present human reality and possibility—and of the temporal super-reality that pervades it.
“Cabot knows what he wants to say about finding life even in the desert of our days, and he says it with eloquence and love. ‘The Joshua Tree’ has been recognized as an important novel; it is certain to be a lasting one.”
“The book is full of loveliness.”
“Cabot writes with stunning power... ”
“ ...words for us of love and hope... and a gentle warning of the curse that lies upon us all.”
“Pushes back the conventional limits of fiction... an eloquent achievement.”
“A hymn to man’s potentiality and a dirge for what he is... a sensual experience from which deep truths will emerge , if you let them.”
“An achievement for the art of letters... a book that belongs in print for the sake of the world.”