Prairie Dog Blues

9780865348011-Perfect.inddMeet the Corleys: Mom and Pop and their three grown kids–Jeff, Ida, and Junior–a zany but lovable family living in a changing neighborhood in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mom wants to fix each of her children’s problems–Jeff’s gambling, Ida’s promiscuity, Junior’s drinking–and to create a normal family. She convinces Pop to sell the family land and give $500,000 to each of their children, believing the money will solve their woes. However, hundreds of prairie dogs and the City Council’s animal ordinance stop the sale. The Corleys try various methods to remove the critters–shooting them, blowing them up, rounding them up and trucking them away–but they all fail. Immersed in conflict, humor, and irony, the prairie dogs come up out of their holes and into each of the Corleys’ hearts, mysteriously softening their hard edges, helping them to find healing deep in Mother Nature. As disease befalls the prairie dogs, and just as it seems the Corleys will get rich, they discover that it is love, not money that is the true wealth of their family.


Prairie Dog Blues ignited feelings and emotions that are always simmering on the back burner of my mind. The Corley family is like so many if not most families. Striving for perfection that will never be achieved, and going through the motions of what the perfect family should be. What appealed to me was the spiritual discussions between Mom and Pastor June, the very real and painful issues of addiction, and having to cope with the illness and loss of someone who you love deeply. Like with any good book, Prairie Dog Blues left me wondering: What’s going to happen next?”
– Vicky Chavez, Bibliophie

Prairie Dog Blues is a page-turner, but very much more. While chuckling and oh-my-goodnessing over the plot twists, I found myself caring about the members of this family and moved to think about some serious matters. In between Alpha prairie dogs and nutty neighbors, I had to consider what a family was all about and how faith influenced the matriarch (OK, “Mom” – she wouldn’t want to be called anything else). It’s a deeply personal and moving book and funny as hell.”
– Robert Epstein, San Francisco, CA