The volume brings together two previously published novellas by Richard Wagamese, Him Standing and The Next Sure Thing, with a foreword from author Waubgeshig Rice. Both stories follow the lives of young men who have dreams for a better future. In their search for fame and fortune, Cree Thunderboy and Lucas Smoke end up on paths where their biggest challenge is staying true to themselves.
In Him Standing, Lucas Smoke learns the art of carving from his grandfather. He discovers that he is a natural; he can literally make people come to life in wood. But when Lucas is asked to carve a spirit mask by a mysterious stranger, he quickly learns that his skill with a knife could cost him his dreams.
In The Next Sure Thing, Cree Thunderboy has two things he does well: playing blues guitar and picking winning horses at the track. Picking winners is just meant to be a means to an end--Cree's goal is to make his living playing the blues. He meets a powerful man at the racetrack who convinces him he can parlay his special skill with the horses into a shot at the fame and fortune he seeks.
Celebrated author Richard Wagamese artfully crafts these thrilling yet vulnerable stories of two young men trying to find their place in the world.