By Shawn Vestal

cover image of Daredevils

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Mormons meet Evel Knievel in this stunning coming-of-age novel about desire and escape At the heart of this coming-of-age novel set in Arizona and Idaho in the mid-1970s is fifteen-year-old Loretta - a beautiful girl with sharp intelligence and courage beyond her years and experience. Raised by strict Mormon parents, she secretly slips out of her bedroom to meet a so-called gentile boy. When her parents catch her returning one night, she is punished and forced to marry the much older Dean Harder, a devout fundamentalist who already has a wife and children. The Harders relocate to his native Idaho, where Dean's teenage nephew, Jason, falls in love with Loretta. Jason worships Evel Knievel and longs to leave his close-minded community. He and Loretta make a daring break for it. They drive all night, stay in a hotel, and relish their dizzying burst of teenage freedom - including a drunken encounter with (possibly) Evel Knievel himself. But someone Loretta left behind is on their trail... Shawn Vestal was born in 1966 in Gooding, Idaho. His story collection Godforsaken Idaho won the 2014 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize and was shortlisted for the Saroyan Prize. A graduate of the Eastern Washington University MFA program, his stories have appeared in Tin House, Ecotone,McSweeney's, Southern Review and other journals; his short memoir A.K.A. Charles Abbott recounts the story of his father, who took the family to Canada in flight from the law. He writes a column for Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he lives with his wife and son.