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This father is left perplexed, alongside his wife, when their autistic son wanders off into the California desert. After a while, he reappears, but for a while, they thought they'd lost him. Unfortunately, Jaz learns that something happened to him out there. He spends the novel wondering whether Raj has encountered some kind of spiritual fate.
The family mother, Lisa, is just distraught by the lost of Raj. As a mother, she has always wanted the best for Raj, but Raj is severely autistic, so Lisa spends much of her time continually caring for him. When he vanishes, she fears the worst, but even when he returns, she suspects that perhaps he had a magic encounter with a desert spirit, perhaps in the form of a coyote.
Who knows what really happened to Raj that fateful day in the desert. Because Raj is severely autistic, his parents are unable to determine whether he merely had an emotional moment alone in the desert, or whether he encountered some kind of desert being. Raj is different upon his return, and although the family spends the novel trying to make sense of these things, they all arrive at the same conclusion—there is technically no "correct" interpretation of these things.
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