MARGO CATTS, Among the Lesser Gods

Among the Lesser Gods (Arcade Publishing, 2017) opens in 1978, as Elena Alvarez, a newly minuted physics graduate living in LA, discovers she’s pregnant.  She considers it to be just one more mistake in a lifetime of screw-ups.  Her mother abandoned her after she accidentally set a deadly fire as a child, and she was raised by her cold distant father. She felt loved only when visiting her grandmother, who divides her time between the town of Leadville, Colorado, and a rustic mountain cabin in an old abandoned mining town.  When her grandmother writes to ask Elena to come and babysit for two children whose mother is “gone,” Elena accepts with hopes that she can put off making any real decisions about her future.

Through her grandmother’s stories, Elena starts to understand her father’s remoteness, and as the children she babysits become more attached to her, she starts to understand herself.  “It seems a person is never finished learning about sorrow…”  Elena’s internal conflicts, metaphysical musings, and reflections on family and forgiveness are all part of the stunning landscape.  Then the two children go missing, and Elena is forced to confront the guilt that has followed her since childhood.

Margo Catts grew up in Los Angeles and has since lived in Utah, Indiana, and Colorado. After raising three children in the U.S., she and her husband moved to Saudi Arabia, where her Foreign Girl blog was well known in the expat community. Originally a freelance editor for textbooks and magazines, she has also done freelance writing for business, technical, and advertising clients, all the while working on her fiction. She is a contributing author to Once Upon an Expat and she now lives in Denver, Colorado.