Book of the Month: August 2014


High as the Horses’ Bridles by Scott Cheshire

There is nothing as delicious as discovering a great new voice in literature. At Literary Affairs, we sponsor a fellowship along with Sirenland for a debut author about to publish. This year, our recipient was Scott Cheshire the author of High as the Horses’ Bridles and, now that it is published, we are thrilled to offer it as our August 2014 Book of the Month.

High as the Horses’ Bridles is a novel that brings us into the unfamiliar world of Evangelical Christians and simultaneously the known world of questioning our family legacy. According to the New York Times, “Mr. Cheshire skillfully writes about the burdens and silver linings offered by faith and other inheritances.”


It’s 1980 at a crowded amphitheater in Queens, New York and a nervous Josiah Laudermilk, age 12, is about to step to the stage while thousands of believers wait to hear him, the boy preaching prodigy, pour forth. Suddenly, as if a switch had been flipped, Josiah’s nerves shake away and his words come rushing out, his whole body fills to the brim with the certainty of a strange apocalyptic vision. But is it true prophecy or just a young believer’s imagination running wild?

Decades later when Josiah (now Josie) is grown and has long since left the church, he returns to Queens to care for his father who, day by day, is losing his grip on reality. Barreling through the old neighborhood, memories of the past – of his childhood friend Issy, of his first love, of the mother he has yet to properly mourn – overwhelm him at every turn. When he arrives at his family’s old house, he’s completely unprepared for what he finds. How far back must one man journey to heal a broken bond between father and son?


Scott Cheshire earned his MFA from Hunter College. He is the interview editor at the Tottenville Review, and teaches writing at the Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop. His work has been published in Slice, AGNI, Guernica and the Picador anthology The Book of Men. He lives in New York City.

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