|Caveat (1998) [Novel]|
by Laura Kalpakian
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(From the publisher):
Caveat is a tale of greed, snobbery, revenge, and memory. Based loosely on historical events in California in 1916, Caveat tells the story of Hank Beecham, the son of a dissolute veteran and an embittered mother. After a life of watching the townspeople of St. Elmo as they snubbed and mocked his family, Hank flees with the town's schoolmarm.
Drawing from an inbred genius, Hank finds his calling as a rainmaker, famous throughout the arid west for his abilities to coax rain from the skies. When St. Elmo is caught in a devastating drought, the city fathers implore Hank to come home. Rather than pay his fee, however, they invite him to bet his skills against nature. After Hank produces a devastating flood, the town leaders remind Hank of his single caveat: that he should get credit for every drop of rain that fell. As bankers and lawyers, they reason this means that he shall be liable for the flood's destruction of property, life, and livestock. Thwarted again by the townspeople he loathes, Hank vows to take his fee out of St. Elmo's soul and vanishes. Eight years later, Hank Beecham returns to exact his revenge.
Original title: Caveat
Genre: Fiction→ Historical→ North America→ Twentieth Century