Anchorage is a novel about the friendship between two broken people and the unlikely journey they undertake together. Temple Musgrave, a depressive theater teacher on the brink of suicide, and Hazel Baines, a onetime professional wrestling star who traveled and performed in the "Christian Miracles League" under the pseudonym of Mary Mags, have a chance and drunken meeting at a Missouri Riverboat Casino. After the hangovers wear off, Hazel convinces Temple that, for lack of anything better to live for, he should help her regain custody of her son, Bailey, through any means legal or illegal, and take them north to Alaska, where her dying father has bequeathed to her a modest piece of land.
Their strange and surprising quest takes them from the casino to dingy motels and Waffle Houses along the banks of the Mississippi, atop the Willis Tower, through hidden tunnels under the Mall of America, and across the border into the frozen reaches of Canada. Pursued by a private detective, a demagogic stepfather, and their own haunted pasts, Hazel and Temple’s survival ultimately depends on their finding the strength to continue towards the destination that, in their minds, at least, signifies a chance at a safe life: Anchorage.
Illustration © 2016 by Catherine Borman