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Red Sky at Morning: Stepping into Adulthood

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Red Sky At Morning by Richard Bradford, is a coming of age novel that

illustrates the maturing of a young man. In the summer of 1944, Frank Arnold, a

wealthy shipbuilder in Mobile, Alabama, receives his volunteer commission in the

U.S. Navy. He moves his wife, Ann, and seventeen-year-old son, Josh, to the

family's summer home in the village of Corazon Sagrado, high in the New Mexico

mountains. Mrs. Arnold finds it impossible to cope with the quality of life in the

largely Hispanic village. Josh, more the son of his father than his mother, becomes

an integral member of the Sagrado community, forging friendships with classmates

at Helen De Crispin school, with the town's resident artist, with Chango

Lopez--macho bully turned model student--and with Amadeo and Excilda

Montoya, the couple hired by his father to care for their house. Josh narrates the

story of his fateful year in Sagrado and reveals the events and people who

influence his progress to maturity. Josh matures throughout the book into a young

man who learns the understanding of change, responsibility, and duty.

Josh stays strong through the changes he goes through and it helps him

mature into the man he becomes. When his family moves to Sagrado he makes

new friends and adapts well to the new environment he is put into. Josh stays

open-minded when making friends at school. He gets to know many different

kings of people. Unlike his mother he doesn't judge people by where they live or

their racial background. His mother does not adjust to the changes as well as

Josh does.

Josh is faced to handle the responsibilities of taking care of his home, his

mother, and himself. His mother takes a turn for the worse in dealing with the

changes of Sagrado and her husbands death. She gets caught up in alcohol and

leaves Josh to take care of her. Her behavior got to the point that he had to call a

doctor. "I hoped I wouldn't have to call Dr. Temple again professionally, but

mother's behavior had been pretty strange last night. (129)." Josh is not only

responsible for his mother but he takes care of himself and his house. "Mother this




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