Born and raised in Montana, Jerry Delaney has an innate Western tone that seeps from his pen into Where Have You Gone, Billy Mayfair? painting a portrait of the Wild West through the eyes of one rambler in this coming-of-a-cowboy novel.
In the 1860s, 16-year-old Billy Mayfair leaves his Illinois home to strike it rich panning for gold. However, he finds himself settling in Montana and learning life lessons from cowboy philosophers and scoundrels alike. As the Civil War bloodies the country and vigilantes are overtaking the West, Mayfair grows into a man. The plot oscillates from Mayfair’s youth to describing Montana’s political and cultural landscape of the time, then back to Mayfair, grown up.
Delaney’s intricate research into the mores of the lawless West captures the era’s essence and is written to be more entertaining than a History Channel feature. Most impressively, the dialect shines, making the book rich and fully realized. Tonight, Delaney will read and sign his book, along with potentially teaching folks cowboy-speak.