“Deeply moving, Beyond the Horizon is an unflinching, soul-searching story about the dangers of the American West. Through the use of lyrical and mythic prose, Ireland explores the darkest regions of desire, ambition, and survival. The story builds with tension as the author skillfully blends lives, present and past, and reveals human cruelty mixed with tender moments of love and inner strength.”
– Ann Weisgarber, author of the award-winning The Personal History of Rachel DuPree and The Promise
In frontier America, a man lives with a pregnant woman who is not his wife. A stranger appears and advises the man to formally register the baby as his own at Fort James, a fabled military outpost. Setting out on a lonely journey across an arid and hostile terrain, the man leaves the woman in the care of the stranger. Soon after the man departs, the stranger kills the woman and her unborn child and then sets off in pursuit of the man.
As their parallel journeys unfold, we learn of the man’s childhood as a boy with his father working on a ship where men survived by cannibalizing their crewmates, their internment on an island and their subsequent life in a port town; we watch the stranger as he assumes many guises to shape-shift his way through history in pursuit of the man—a pawn in the stranger’s brutal game rewriting the myths of the American West.
Menacing, visceral and lyrical, Beyond the Horizon is an allegory concerning itself with the origins of modern America – a sojourn into the darkest parts of Western lore, which etches out its own unique place in the anti-Western, gothic tradition.