Picked this up to read now that I live in the middle of Kentucky bourbon country and also the "Kentucky Holy Land." I was a tad disappointed that, with a rural Catholic stronghold in the center of the state (and surrounded by distilleries), the author didn't play up this aspect for a historical novel involving a Catholic church-attending family and miracles, but whatever. The story was well-written and well-developed, with a complex plot and complex characters. I was consistently impressed with how cohesive and engaging the author kept the many components. This could easily have slipped into a violence-driven thriller or used the religious aspect as just another plot device, but instead there was depth throughout the entire novel as it explored the issues of Depression-era Kentucky (with continuing legacies of WWI and Prohibition), the grief of a family, and navigating the complexities of faith, maturing, and family relationships. I'll definitely be seeking out other books by this author.
The Angels' Share (Paperback)
About This Item
"Folksy charm, an undercurrent of menace, and an aura of hope permeate this ultimately inspirational tale." --Booklist
From award-winning author James Markert comes a Southern tale of fathers and sons, young romance, revenge and redemption, and the mystery of miracles.
Now that Prohibition has ended, what the townspeople of Twisted Tree, Kentucky, need most is the revival of the Old Sam Bourbon distillery. But William McFee knows it'll take a miracle to convince his father, Barley, to once more fill his family's aging house with barrels full of bourbon.
When a drifter recently buried near the distillery begins to draw crowds of pilgrims, the McFees are dubious. Yet miracles seem to come to those who once interacted with the deceased and to those now praying at his grave. As people descend on the town to visit the "Potter's Field Christ," William seeks to find the connection between the tragic death of his younger brother and the mysterious drifter.
But as news spreads about the miracles at the potter's field, the publicity threatens to bring the depth of Barley's secret past to light and put the entire McFee family in jeopardy.
"Distinguished by complex ideas and a foreboding tone, Markert's (A White Wind Blew) enthralling novel captures a dark time and a people desperate for hope." --Library Journal
"Mysterious, gritty and a bit mystical, Markert's entertaining new novel inspires the question of 'What if?' Many characters are nicely multilayered, providing a good balance of intrigue and realism. The fascinating glimpse into the process of distilling bourbon--and the effect of the Prohibition on Kentucky and its bourbon families--adds another layer to the story." --RT Book Reviews
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|Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)|
9.00 x 6.00 x 1.50 Inches
This book was a well w...
This book was a well written story about a drifter who comes to town after the Prohibition era has ended. The town's legacy is the old bourbon distillery, and they need a boost to get it going again. The drifter dies. And his graveside becomes a pilgrimage for those seeking miracles. And they're getting them. Lies and deceit are hidden within these pages. Revenge. Mystery. Romance. And miracles. Afraid I will give too much away, I will simply say the author does not leave you wanting for a better read! I give this book five stars. I give it a big thumbs up. And my personal highly recommended award.
I received a free adva...
I received a free advance e-copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This is a great story. The author lets us see what it must have been like for a Kentucky bourbon distiller to recover after Prohibition and the Great Depression. The Feds shut down most distillers except for a handpicked few who were allowed to manufacture their product for 'medicinal purposes.' The remainder had to support their families any way they could find. Many had hidden product that they sold any way they could whether it was legal or not. They ran across many unsavory characters in the years that they bootlegged their product on the Black Market and did what they had to do in order to survive. Several became wealthy and hid their ill-gotten gains. Many times what they had done during those years caught up with them in the end. This is the story of such a family and their recovery. James Market has written an excellent piece of historical fiction with an amazing plot and excellent character development. For good measure the author writes a dead drifter thought to be the second coming of Jesus with a following of '12 apostles' into the plot. It is obvious that the author did a great deal of research before writing this book. I thoroughly enjoyed the language and colloquialisms the author used throughout the book that were so appropriate for the time period. I especially enjoyed the expression, "Everything is jake." This is an amazing story that grabs the reader's attention from the beginning and never lets go until the very end. This is a keeper and well worth the read. I look forward to reading more from James Market in the future.
I wasnt really sure a...
I wasn't really sure about this book at first. I felt kinda lost and wasn't understanding what the book was about. I'm glad I kept going because slowly the author starts to develop characters that come alive. I loved the history behind prohibition and the era it was set in. In the woods of Kentucky lies distilleries. The people are glad that prohibition is over and they are ready to crank up the distillery again. Now who is going to run it? Can you imagine running a distillery to pay bills, put food on the table and have spending money? There were plenty of people who depended on their craft but when the FBI came in and closed them, it must have been a real hardship. The story focuses on a family who has decided to start their distillery up again. The characters are interesting and I really liked the biblical reference to the story of Jesus. Some poor lost man dies and people believe he will arise again. There sit twelve believers much like the disciples waiting for the miracle to happen. The town is a mixture of characters and for some reason I just could not follow the story. Who is this person who everyone believes is a miracle? Could it be Jesus they were witnessing with their own eyes? People in the town believe this man is making miracles happen. There is mystery , people running from the law and a man many claim could be Jesus. In this little town they need a miracle to keep it running. Asher is a great character who will play a very intricate part in this story. Who is he really? Did he come to help the town? The book is quite different but one that is worth reading. I received a copy of this book from the Fiction Guild. The review is my own opinion.
This was a different and difficult book to read for me. I really liked the historical background into the unsettled time of the era. I learned the difference between whiskey and bourbon and a peek into the underworld of prohibition. I failed to connect with the characters as there was to much violence and drinking for my taste. To me at times it almost seemed blasphemous. I gave it three stars because of the historical content and feel I did learn something. I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson & Zondervan Fiction Guild. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
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