Since his release from prison after serving an eighteen-month sentence for growing cannabis, Ben Hecht’s life has settled into a familiar routine. On his farm in the foothills of California, he stays busy cultivating a dozen acres of grapes and tending to a flock of mistrustful sheep. Meanwhile, from her desk in their old redwood barn, his novelist wife, Ada, continues to work on what may be her most important book yet. When their only son, Yoel, comes home from Los Angeles for a rare visit, Ben is forced to confront their long troubled relationship, which has continued to degrade in recent years. But before the two of them can truly address their past, a wildfire sweeps through the region, forcing the Hecht family to flee to the coast, and setting into motion a chain of events that will transform them all.
Daniel Gumbiner’s first book, The Boatbuilder, was nominated for the National Book Award and a finalist for the California Book Awards. He is the Editor of The Believer and a 2022–23 Hermitage Fellow. He lives in Oakland, CA.