Book Details

Mike Hogan needs to get away...

In his sophisticated debut novel, T.L. Hughes draws on his New England upbringing in an Irish Catholic family to tell the story of his main character, Mike Hogan’s, cross country venture from Southern California back to the small mill town where he grew up.
The lure of the road reunites Mike and his two travel companions with old friends, family, and acquaintances. As the three friends bounce from place to place, freeloading across the expanses of beautiful America, they see life again through those they once knew and loved and through new friends and experiences. In the process of it all, they rediscover the goodness within themselves that was always there.
Searching For Paradise is a coming of age story filled with vivid imagery and resonating musical references to the artists and songs of the 1970s and 1980s. Above all else it is a love story of great depth and beauty.

"While 'Searching for Paradise' by T. L. Hughes comes to us as a highway story, the book is as much about the elemental pull of tribal roots as it is about the lure of the road." - Paul Marion, The Lowell Sun

"Beautifully written and engagingly presented, SEARCHING FOR PARADISE is a road trip where the characters drive back to their roots in search of where they came from, but seek to transcend their past lives in search of something more exciting, more attainable, yet more liberating." ~IndieReader

"Tom Wolfe's admonition that 'you can't go home again' is belayed by the experiences in Searching for Paradise. Sure, you can go home again - and re-view it from the vantage point of new insights and life experiences. Connections between past and present are well done in a story that reveals just where this paradise is to be found." - D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review


Book Excerpt

The vapor-like gases that formed the outer stretches of our galaxy dispersed among the stars in a cloudlike line. We stood out there in sheer amazement for at least a half hour, pivoting in circles as we looked up, our feet imprinting the salt flats that we stood on. When I tired of standing, I lay down on the desert floor. I identified the big sauce pan of the dipper and followed it across to Polaris like I was a little kid again. We guessed possible constellations; we discerned the distinct yellow light of planets compared to the blue light of the stars; we saw distant blinking satellites crossing the star dust and tens of shooting stars that dove toward the horizon all at once. This was the night sky before the electric light had ever been invented, the sky of the great oceans and the Sahara, the sky of Antarctica and Siberia, the sky of our past, the sky where men of long ago sat around crackling fires and talked of what it all might be . . . those crazy blinking lights that came out every night and revolved around that single shimmering light that pointed due north; these were the night fires of the gods.


About the Author

T.L. Hughes

T.L. Hughes was born in Salem, Massachusetts, and shortly thereafter moved with his family to the post-industrial revolution city of Lowell. He spent most of his young life immersed in the culture and community of this changing mill town. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts in 1980, he headed west to California. Today he lives in Orange County with his wife and three children.

Also by T.L. Hughes

The Sojourners