The volume brings together two previously published novellas by Richard Wagamese, "Him Standing" and "The Next Sure Thing" with a foreword from author Waubgeshig Rice. Both stories follow the lives of young men who have dreams for a better future. In "Him Standing", Lucas Smoke learns the art of carving from his grandfather, ane discovers that he is a natural. He can literally make people come to life in wood. In "The Next Sure Thing", Cree Thunderboy has two things he does well: playing blues guitar and picking winning horses at the track. Picking winners is just meant to be a means to an end Cree's goal is to make his living playing the blues. He meets a powerful man at the racetrack who convinces him he can parlay his special skill with the horses into a shot at the fame and fortune he seeks.