I first read Red Sky at Morning when it came out in paperback long ago. As I've mentioned many times before, I'm a sucker for a coming-of-age novel, and this is one of my favorites. When I saw a trade paperback copy for a buck the other day, I decided it was time to read it again, and I'm glad I did. It's just as warm and funny and touching as ever.
The time is the 1940s, and WWII is raging. The narrator is Josh Arnold, whose father is a ship builder in Mobile, Alabama. Afraid that Mobile might be a German target, Mr. Arnold sends Josh and his mother to their second home in a small New Mexico mountain town and joins the navy. Both Josh and his mother are familiar with the town from vacations there, but living there is different. Josh makes some friend and enemies and adjusts quickly. His mother does not; she begins drinking heavily and eventually cracks up.
The dialogue in the book is wonderfully funny all the way through, the descriptions of weather and the town and the people are all spot on, and the characters are varied and engaging. If you like coming-of-age novels at all, this one is must reading. Highly recommended.