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March 23 , 2011

Sweat of the Nomad

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When James “Jamie” Finch awakes in a pool of sweat on a Friday morning in the same way he always does, in a box, he finds himself facing what promises to be the hottest day on record. But not only has the atmospheric temperature risen to intense levels overnight, so have the temperatures of both society and his personal life. And on this Friday of insufferable heat, Jamie must embark on a journey into the fire to reclaim the life he’s lost before his opportunity to rebuild himself goes up in smoke.

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"This woman is a major hero of our time." —Richard Dawkins Ayaan Hirsi Ali captured the world’s attention with Infidel, her compelling coming-of-age memoir, which spent thirty-one weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Now, in Nomad, Hirsi Ali tells of coming to America to build a new life, an ocean away from the…

A year ago, Jamie was working for Marvin Thomas, a man of distinguishing tastes and brilliant facades, but Marvin was too preoccupied with other interests to give him much notice. Then, one night at a company party, Marvin meets a woman who utterly captivates him: Jamie’s wife. Because Marvin takes notice of her, he takes notice of Jamie, and suddenly, Marvin is handing off the keys to the kingdom, offering Jamie promotions and opportunities that he could never imagine possible.

But all fortunate things come with a price, and Jamie discovers this truth the hard way when he invites Marvin for dinner, and Marvin, in a move to knock down all of his current facades, arrives with a security force designed to kick Jamie out of his own home. What follows is a whirlwind of unfortunate events that puts Jamie’s wife in Marvin’s hands and Jamie out on the street.

For six months, Jamie keeps to the shadows, for Marvin’s spies are always on the lookout, always waiting to knock him so far off track that he can never find his way home, and for six months he stomachs the stress he feels for having left his wife and home in the company of a manipulative madman. But now, as the temperatures rise in coordination with his anger, and as external forces, including Marvin’s spies and a gang of arsonists, put the pressure on him, Jamie decides that today is the day to take back his home and dispatch the interloper who tried to ruin his life. But his journey isn’t easy. With the homeless population he lives among keeping his loyalties in flux, and the alley cat he adopts generally slowing his progress, he learns that every step toward freeing his original family is one that drags him back to endangering his new one. But, when the heat of the day finally reaches its cool-down, and his loyalties are tested, Jamie must decide how to handle the bridge between his two lives when he finally comes to it.

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