By Kathryn Reed
Is it any more irrational to believe in God than it is to believe in Bigfoot?
While that is not a direct question posed by Ann Gelder in her first full-length novel “Bigfoot and the Baby,” it is a thread that is woven throughout the book.
It’s 1986 and Jackie Majesky has suddenly become obsessed with God and the need to be saved. Her husband, Kyle, is a chronic TV watcher of a show that tracks Bigfoot. Together they have two daughters – a slightly rebellious and disinterested teenager and a newborn who wails incessantly. That is, until she meets Carl.
In the quest to find – and briefly live in what was to be a Utopian society – the Majeskys are tested in their beliefs of each other and humankind. And while that might sound like everyday life, theirs is anything but that.
Gelder is able to paint a picture with prose to describe a world consumed by materialism and the need to believe in something bigger than us. The characters are believable even in their outlandish moments. That’s part of what is captivating about the book — that while the story is fiction, there are elements of it that seem so plausible.
The book ends in such a manner that a sequel seems possible. But the author says there are no plans at this time to revisit this quirky family.
While clearly the book is fiction, it does make you wonder why people believe in fictional characters they’ve never seen.
At this time Bona Fide has no other works of fiction in the pipeline. In 2015 Bona Fide plans to publish three nonfiction books: “Permanent Vacation II,” “Tahoe Sepia,” and “July & Winter: Farming and Gardening in the Sierra.”
“I didn’t plan to expand into literary fiction, but I read this manuscript a few years ago and couldn’t stop thinking about it. It’s the kind of book I like to read: smart, weird, and funny with great characters,” Kim Wyatt, publisher at Bona Fide, told Lake Tahoe News.
June 13, 7pm, Lake Tahoe Community College library South Lake Tahoe.
June 14, 10am-1pm Making It Strange: A Workshop for Fiction Writers Bona Fide Books headquarters, Meyers. Sign up here.
June 22, 6pm Tongue and Groove, The Hotel Cafe, 1623 1/2 No. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood.
June 26, 6-8pm, Village House of Books, 326 Village Lane, Los Gatos.
July 10, 7-9pm, Folio Books, 3957 24th St., San Francisco.
Aug, 14, 7pm, Why There Are Words, Studio 333, Caledonia St., Sausalito.
• The book is available online for $15.