Winner, 2022 London Book Festival
Runner-up, 2022 Paris Book Festival
It is 1925 when a love affair between enchantress Maggie Westinghouse and con man July Pennybaker upends the small town of Miagrammesto Station, tumbles it about, and sets it back down as Delphic Oracle, Nebraska. Will their love fulfill its destiny? The narrator of this wry, entertaining novel, Father Peter Goodfellow, weaves back and forth in time to answer that question. Along the way, he introduces the Goodfellows, the Penrods, and the Thorntons—families whose members include a perpetual runaway, a man with religion but no faith, a man with faith but no religion, a boy known as Samson the Methodist, a know-it-all librarian who seems to actually know everything, a quartet of confused midsummer lovers, and a skeleton unearthed in a vacant lot. Funny, poignant, and occasionally tragic, their histories are part of how a place at the confluence of the Platte, Loup, and Missouri River Valleys became home to the long-lost Oracle of Delphi.
Praise for Delphic Oracle, U.S.A.
“Mayfield is an astonishing storyteller—Flannery O’Connor with sunshine. I read Treasure of the Blue Whale and hoped he would serve up another ordered universe fluid with imperfections and missed opportunities, botched plans and deformities of all kinds. And now he has! Delphic Oracle U.S.A. is a small town where unlikelies are never misfits, idiosyncrasy is the norm, and best of all, there’s a place for everyone. Closing this new Mayfield novel, you know in your deepest heart that we belong to each other.”
—Mary Rakow, award-winning author of The Memory Room and This is Why I Came
“Mayfield’s prose lets readers instantly know that they are in good hands, that a clever adventure is before them. He incites real belly laughs, then quietly disarms.”
—Jennifer Bowen Neergaard, BookHive
“You laugh and cry over the tender acceptance of our humanly human condition.”
—Barbara Herrick, author of The Blackberry Tea Club
“A curious cast of characters, a mythical town, $10,000 missing and we’re on the hoof with Steven Mayfield’s captivating Delphic Oracle U.S.A. With twists and turns and relationships as slippery as eels, Mayfield weaves together a story that will delight readers of all ages.”
—Susan Wingate, #1 Amazon bestseller and award-winning author
“This wonderful book, spanning decades, is quirky in the best sense of the word. Hop aboard and be charmed by tornado chasers, Shakespeare-spouting gangsters on the lam, and countless others in a multi-generational romp that rolls along with the fevered pitch of a screwball comedy. Full of heart, full of fun, full of family, it is a splendid homage to the fine folks of Delphic Oracle U.S.A.”
—Alice Kaltman, Pushcart-nominated author of Dawg Towne, Wavehouse, and The Tantalizing Tale of Grace Minnaugh