When your American dream turns sour, where do you run to? In this case, America. Or at least to its wild, disjunct north-western annex.
A woman who's had her dental business taken from her by a litigious former client scoops up her two young children from their mid-western home. She bundles them into a clunker of a mobile home and takes them on a wavering journey through an Alaskan wilderness plagued by wildfires. The nation they're flying from is a post-truth, blame-ready culture that's becoming horrifyingly familiar from recent events; which is what makes this novel feel so urgent and timely.
Dave Eggers is master of an effortless, joyful prose that's uniquely American in register. He's at his best when transparently documenting the real or fictional lives of his fellow-countrymen and women, and placing them with smart-bomb accuracy in this exact moment of political and social time. By doing so, he often manages to tease out a unique perspective on the character of the united, divided states of America. In Heroes of the Frontier, he's at his best.