Best friends Kip Calder and Brice McCarthy are born on the same day in 1944 in Los Alamos, New Mexico, the most secret place on earth. Sons of men who work on the Manhattan Project, they play macabre games, tempting the fate that looms over their sequestered community whose invention of the atomic bomb will change the course of human history.
One night during their teens, as idealistic, drunken runaways they make a crazy pilgrimage to the desert chapel of Chimayó to eat the holy dirt—known to the thousands who come here each Good Friday as tierra bendita—and atone for the nuclear legacy that haunts their families and themselves. After this joyous, terrifying moment their two lives spiral apart. In the sixties, as Brice becomes an antiwar activist, Kip disappears into Vietnam and ultimately into the covert war in Laos where he serves as a “spook” in an outfit known as the Ravens, leaving Brice to marry Jessica Rankin, the woman they both love.
A quarter of a century later, Kip, who was thought to have been killed in action, returns, a ghost soldier perhaps come to reclaim what was lost, and so threatens to shatter everything his old friend has built. In Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist Robert Olen Butler’s words, Trinity Fields is “nothing less than a search for a unified field theory of the contemporary American soul.”