As the first Persian Gulf War approaches, Wes Hammond, an eager young naval officer and military school graduate, finds himself assigned to a Temporary Personnel Unit in peacetime California, awaiting orders for active duty. Together with three other newly commissioned officers and the women they meet, Wes waits for war by embarking on a series of journeys through the desert Southwest—until one ends with a sudden act of violence, and an unexpectedopportunity for change.
“O’Gorman…is up to more than an exposé of debauchery and modern-day angst. As a novelist, he is trying to explore how a Christian message of hope and redemption can attain credibility for these characters. It is a dilemma that both Percy and O’Connor explored in their own fiction…The novel has progressed through Percy’s “sense of predicament, of something having gone wrong,” a “wayfaring” dead-end. For some, however, the progression is not a dead-end but a “pilgrimage,” in which the capacity to “turn” (a key word in the novel) reveals “a sacramental reality of things.”
—George Lensing, America magazine review
“This graceful meditation on power, authority, and identity is beautifully turned and brought to the page with unexpected and vivid profundity.”
—Erin McGraw, author of Lies of the Saints
“Lean and powerful, Awaiting Orders is a compelling exploration of the moral life of a single, drifting character, whose journey mirrors by implication the moral life of contemporary American culture. Hemingway’s taut prose and Dostoyevsky’s spiritual quests inform the action, but Farrell O’Gorman’s sensibility is wholly original. This is an auspicious and most welcome debut.”
—Valerie Sayers, author of Brain Fever