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Days of Little Texas    by R. A. Nelson order for
Days of Little Texas
by R. A. Nelson
Order:  USA  Can
Knopf, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Richard Earl King is born in Covington, Georgia. His daddy deals marijuana which he grows under their trailer. His mother spends most of her time sleeping.

Other than his mama and daddy, Richard Earl has only one relative. Wanda Joy, his aunt by marriage, visits occasionally. His daddy calls her church lady. When Daddy is sent to jail and his mama is killed in an explosion at a meth lab, Wanda Joy takes Richard Earl in.

Wanda Joy, Certain Certain, and Sugar Tom take him on the evangelist circuit throughout the South. Sugar Tom is a preacher who got his name because his sermons are so sweet. Certain Certain is the descendant of slaves. The four travelers become a family.

When Richard Earl is ten, Sugar Tom is bringing the gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the World Famous Lake Nasworthy Chili Cook-Off near San Angelo, Texas. A thunderstorm blows up and a miracle occurs. Richard Earl and Certain Certain find themselves holding up a pole to keep the tent from collapsing while Sugar Tom continues his sermon. Suddenly everything goes white and Certain Certain is lying face down in a puddle of water. Richard Earl turns him over, touches his chest and he is resurrected. Richard Earl is born again as Little Texas, a boy preacher and faith healer.

Richard's faith is true and his healing helps those who are unfortunate. When he is sixteen he begins to notice girls. His feelings embarrass him although Certain Certain assures him that he is normal even if he is anointed. He heals a girl his own age who later dies. Her spirit begins attending every sermon.

Days of Little Texas is not a commentary on religion or a political statement. R. A. Nelson stays true to his fine characters and tells their story.

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