Placing the novel in the gold rush era, the brothers find desperate men and women who have given up everything for this chance of riches. Because they are hired assassins for money they attach their own morality to everyone who is in search of it. Occasionally, the brothers come across people who force them to question the role of money in their lives and what they need to do for it. Luck is as important as hard work in the world of gold and therefore leads to superstitions. Some of the people, especially the women and children have been dragged into this life because of the men. Even at the mercy of Charlie's kidding, Eli tries to help those who keep a small reserve of humanity.
Along the way, Eli and Charlie discuss whether this should be their last hit. Eli wants to retire to a shop. Charlie wants to be his own bossman like the one who hires them to kill. Their delay in getting to San Francisco has unintended consequences. At the end of this long road, after everyone they've met, the reader wonders if this time it will be different. A starkly beautiful novel.
- What is the purpose of your garden? Outdoor living? Entertaining? Meditation? Play space? Producing vegetables (and/or eggs, honey...) Or cut flowers for the house?
- Where is your garden? In the soggy northwest, the arid southwest, in a temperate area that resemble the Mediterranean region?
- What materials will you use? A new feature in many new gardens is gravel- which may sound odd, but has many practical qualities.
- And what about edible gardens? Even those that produce honey- and eggs, as chickens become common even in larger cities (Berkeley, California, for example!) And community gardens mean more than just food- they can nourish and educate the young, and bring beauty and a spirit of renovation to neighborhoods that have fallen into economic backwaters.