A novel about getting lost in the desert and finding direction.
“With Drowning Cactus, Carrie Russell takes the reader on an exhilarating ride across the American landscape and into a brilliant quagmire of human obsession and desire. This is a dangerous, smart, and stunning debut.” – Laura van den Berg, author of The Isle of Youth
“Carrie Russell knows that serious stuff can be funny–even Saving the Earth.” – Heather Lockman, author of The Indian Shirt Story
“…starkly beautiful prose, detailing the relationships of damaged characters.” – Portland Book Review
When his botched cactus theft is mistaken for an eco-protest, Gordon Burstein is thrust into the national spotlight and expected to speak for the land he loves. He panics and runs, beginning a journey of self-discovery that takes him from spring break in Mexico, across the Sonora, all the way to Thoreau’s Walden Pond.
Press and fans scramble to track him down, but no one is more determined than Mora Sullivan, a disgraced environmentalist who has fallen hard for Gordon. She treks into the desert, determined to find inspiration and love.
Gordon and Mora must survive the wilderness, evade the law, and confront the many lies they’ve told the world and each other—all before they attempt to rescue a truckload of cacti from drowning in a New England swamp.
Discussion questions for Drowning Cactus are available in the Drowning Cactus Reading Guide.