Jackie Parker talks with Zoe Hewitt about her novel, Our Lady of Infidelity.
It begins when a vision appears in a carwash window in the tiny, dusty desert town of Infidelity, a blip on the map just outside of Joshua Tree, California. Seven-year-old Luz Reyes, whose family was killed by death squads in her native land and whose mother is gravely ill, is the first to see it. Then Walt Adair, the divorced owner of the carwash. Then Zoe Luedke, the golden-haired stranger in search of her runaway husband. And even the child’s skeptic mother, Josephina Reyes, sees it. A crowd gathers, and others in the town see something as well, but no two people see the same thing. Though the priest, Father Bill, tries to prevent the vision from taking hold, even he seems to fall under its power.
At first, it brings wonderful things: healings, peace, a kind of happiness that the people of Infidelity have never known. Then Luz’s extraordinary powers begin to reveal themselves. There is an unexplained death, and the town begins to turn against her and those who have gathered around the miracle child. In the chaos that follows, people struggle to hold onto the beauty that came into their lives through Luz and the window even as they ask, Were they deluded or duped—or were they given a great gift?