falling toward heavenFalling toward Heaven
by John Bennion

on the cover:
Alone at the airport, Howard Rockwood considers two years spent away from home. He has said good-bye to his mission president, but now his head aches. Can he fall back into the routine and expectations of his parents in Utah? Can he muster the drive to follow his instincts—to figure out what he has been unable to wrap his mind around?

He thinks of Allison, the young woman he met, who visits his dreams. She is educated, quick-witted—the kind of “man-eating pagan” that his senile grandfather warned him about but who nonetheless makes him feel alive.

In order to find yourself you first need to become lost, then Howard is taking a first step toward self-discovery.

“‘We’re not angels,’ the young missionary confides to a Latino convert. Her reply: ‘You are muy authentica‘—which is true of Falling Toward Heaven. It is a book that doesn’t flinch in the face of the snafus and bollixed situations it portrays, that draws us wholly and scrupulously into the world of its dispossessed characters. It is plain-speaking and avoids easy answers about faith and love.”

—Darrell Spencer, author, Our Secret’s Out

Falling Toward Heaven is wise and brave. Bennion understands the continuum of actions and consequences—where integrity breeds suffering, while right springs inscrutably from wrong. His fictional world is full—rounded with exact detail—and rich, with an ultimately more satisfying reward than mere answers; his are worthy questions well asked.”

—Mary Clyde, author, Survival Rates

about the author: John Bennion is the author of Breeding Leah and Other Stories and a contributor to Best of the West 2, Bright Angels and Familiars, and Christmas for the World. He has published in Accent, BYU Studies, Dialogue, The New Era, Sunstone, and the Wasatch Review; and has received Best Short Story awards from the Association for Mormon Letters and the Utah Arts Council, among others. He is an Associate Professor of English at Brigham Young University where he teaches creative writing. He and his family live in Springville, Utah.

title page:
Falling toward Heaven
John Bennion
Signature Books
Salt Lake City

copyright page:

For Karla, Kent, Phillip, and the others who helped
Cover Illustration: Trevor Southey: Into Thy Hands I Commend My Spirit, 60 x 51 inches,
Engraved Plexiglass over Charcoal on Panel, 1975.
Cover Design: Ron Stucki
© 2000 Signature Books. All rights reserved.
Signature Books is a registered trademark of Signature Books, Inc.
Falling Toward Heaven was printed on acid-free paper and was composed, printed, and bound in the United States of America.
05   04   03   02   01   2000      6   5   4   3   2   1

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Bennion, John
Falling toward heaven/by John Bennion.
p. cm.
ISBN 1-56085-140-6 (pap.)
I. Mormons—Fiction.  I. Title.
PS3552.E547564 B87 2000
813′.54—DC21
99-053298