TMW Book Reviews

Chasing Quetzalcoatl to the American Dream

by Garret Thomas Godwin

Chasing Quetzalcoatl to the American Dream, by Garret Thomas Godwin, is a fictional tale of Trick Hartland, a descendant of the Navajo, showing his life struggles between his mundane desires and the spiritual calling of his soul. The book has Trick’s story told from the very beginning to his 40s, spanning decades of cultural and societal changes that influence Trick in pursuing one path over another and pondering his life goals between achievement the American Dream and chasing the figure of Christ in Quetzalcoatl.

Trick’s story, albeit fictional, serves as a great way to shine a light on our own life choices and decisions, how we are molded by them and how life itself has a way of guiding us through God. Some parts of the book are especially good in illustrating that, such as when Trick gets involved with growing opioid plants while amidst Vietnam War incursions and tarnishes his soul with that; later on, under the guidance of a wise Navajo shaman, he is reborn through his spirituality and seeks to find redemption and forgiveness in his pursuit of Jesus by the Book of Mormon.

Due to Mr. Godwin’s poetic experience, this duality can also be seen in subtle hints through carefully handpicked character names, for example.

The way in which this story of inner reflection and finding oneself is presented by author Garret Thomas Godwin embraces the reader and makes them feel like they are actively witnessing Trick’s evolution firsthand. Chasing Quetzalcoatl to the American Dream is very easy to read and the short length of chapters definitely makes it an essential pick for short-burst reading sessions before bed. As it is a pretty lengthy tale, several different characters are presented and some have foreign names which can be hard to remember after reading hiatuses, and to remedy that, the author kindly offers an index of characters at the end of the book for a quick glance that allows you to not lose track of who’s who.

– The Moving Words Review


About the Author

Garret Godwin received his BA in English from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and his MA in English literature from Temple University in Philadelphia. He was the Robert Sterling Clark scholar in classics at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and he holds an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of True Philadelphia Stories (a collection of short stories and essays); three novels-“Chasing Quetzalcoatl to the American Dream,” “Down and Out in Philadelphia and New York,” and “Through the Dark Looking Glass”; and an anthology of poetry, “As You Sow.” He lives in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.