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Author Rick Preti casts an admirable man into the contemptible world of delinquency and lawlessness after he physically abuses his wife in the heat of a mid-life spousal dispute. Twenty-nine Miles from Sheridan illustrates how unexpected urges and events may trigger bad behavior and result in human tragedy.
Many may argue the husband’s violence was indiscriminate and unjust. Others might overlook the criminality of his offense under opposing circumstances. Nevertheless, such altercations typically result in charges of domestic violence, to which there is no simple antidote for a man in the state of Utah, which mandates criminal arrest and encourages police and prosecutors to take consequential measures.
Fearful of a one-sided investigatory process, Michael Agresta leaves Utah and drives across state borders to remote areas of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Searching his soul while taking time off, he hopes the wife he loves will eventually indicate a willingness to reconcile. On the contrary, his wife immediately files domestic violence charges against him, and exploits the marital explosion as a chance to satisfy her ever-youthful promiscuity before it’s too late.
Traveling from home, Michael accidentally enters a raw and revengeful world. At each turn of an agonizing journey, he encounters troubled characters who live hard on the knife’s edge of lawlessness, the unfamiliar field of atrocity and discomposure an appropriate framework for Agresta’s relentless, seesaw analysis of his own contemptuous acts. His ordeal is detailed in a series of struggles that challenge his mental and bodily endurance and determine the outcome of his existence.
In Twenty-Nine Miles from Sheridan, Rick Preti imposes apportioned torment on an otherwise praiseworthy man whose shame is ultimately shaped by the imperfect and unpredictable world around him. Preti’s literary work favors no particular societal message for the correct solution. Instead, the author assigns responsibility for the end result to each of the mistrustful characters.