High school Anthropology teacher Marius Greco merely wished to spend a couple quiet years in upstate New York researching his doctoral dissertation on the movie It's a Wonderful Life and the decline of the American small town. He certainly did not want to become a local "hero."
Greco was just the kind of hero any America small town would be happy to have: son of Italian and Mexican immigrants, an Army combat veteran who has served his country in Iraq, and a teacher who risked his life to single-bare-handedly shut down a heavily-armed student, Khalid Azziz, who had already killed and wounded several students in his school.
But the problem was not so much that Marius Greco was a big city liberal from California, or even very much that he had been involved in an incident with Jazmeen, an Arab girl student, that had resulted in his being exiled from his teaching position in Los Angeles. It was not until after the Christian, conservative town of Palatine beside a stretch of the Erie Canal in upstate New York's Mohawk Valley had valorized their hero that they became aware that Marius Greco was even more threatening than a Muslim. He was an Atheist.
Had Marius actually killed Khalid, things might have gone much differently. But the terrorist lay in a coma in the local hospital amid a swirl of suspicion about Marius' "heroism," international terrorist conspiracies, alien abduction, and an incriminatory video—all the elements for a movie thriller, or a real-life daring, life-saving, escapade.
Foresaken is novel that draws upon classic American motion picture of smalltown life and lore that exposes hypocrisies and delusions in our national character, religious faith, patriotism, and racial assimilation, and the American promise of a "wonderful life."