Rated 5.00/5 based on 2 reviews
Finalist for PEN's prestigious Ernest Hemingway Award, Midheaven is told by Jodi McGee who, troubled by her father's gambling and the arrogance of her wealthy peers, turns from drugs and boys to radical Christianity. But when she falls for a gambler, hard choices test her will, her faith, her love, and her sanity. More
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About Ken Kuhlken

Ken's stories have appeared in Esquire and dozens of other magazines and anthologies, been honorably mentioned in Best American Short Stories, and earned a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. He has been a frequent contributor and a columnist for the San Diego Reader.

His novels are Midheaven, a finalist for the Ernest Hemingway Award for best first novel, The Loud Adios (Private Eye Writers of America Best First Mystery Novel, 1989), The Venus Deal, The Angel Gang, The Do-Re-Mi (a January Magazine best book of 2006 and a finalist for the Shamus Award for Best PI Novel), and The Vagabond Virgins,
The Biggest Liar in Los Angeles, and The Good Know Nothing.

He has also published (at Hickey's Books) a memoir, a road saga (with Alan Russell), and two indispensable guides for writers.

He lives on a hill overlooking Mexico and the Pacific Ocean with his daughter Zoe, their cat, and some chickens.

He reads a lot, avoids most television, often attends church, blogs on books, writing, and education, teaches writing, and enjoys smacking balls with a bat and clubs.

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Review by: James Garfield on Jan. 2, 2012 :
Ken Kuhlken's MIDHEAVEN is narrated by Jodi McGee, a high-school student who is having an affair with her English teacher, while enjoying time alone in her beautiful Lake Tahoe surroundings and struggling inside herself with spiritual issues. Jodi is torn between worldliness and commitment to Christianity.

Her relationships with others are a vital part of her maturing. Her best friend Charley provides support, despite his penchant for getting into trouble. Her relationship with her teacher Phillip provides trouble of a different sort.

MIDHEAVEN offers sharp characterizations and beautiful descriptions of the wilderness that Jodi loves. Christian readers will be involved by Jodi's inner struggle, while those just looking for an engrossing coming-of-age story will be amply rewarded.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: Mark Clifton on July 11, 2011 :
In Ken Kuhlken’s Midheaven, seventeen-year-old Jodi McGee finds herself torn between the wilder urges of youth and a call to find peace in the Christian faith. Meanwhile, she falls for Philip, her high school English teacher. Then Charlie Walker, a boy she has loved since childhood, returns from fighting the Vietnam War.

Her story plays out all around Lake Tahoe, a place about which Mark Twain wrote “This is the air the angels breathe.” From the shoreline casinos to deep in the surrounding mountain wilderness, Jodi, Philip, and Charlie do battle against angels, demons, and their own confounded hearts.

Midheaven, told with wit and sensitivity, is for readers from young adult on, especially for those who sympathize with the struggle to find one’s place in a mysterious world.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
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