The Angels’ Share, by James Markert

book coverPublisher’s Overview:

Some believed he was the second coming of Christ.

William wasn’t so sure.

But when that drifter was buried next to the family distillery, everything changed.

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.

The Angels’ Share is a story of fathers and sons, of young romance, of revenge and redemption, and of the mystery of miracles. 

First Thoughts:

James Markert is an author I’ve not read before, but I love the sound of the overview. I’ve visited just one distillery in Kentucky, but I’d like to visit more locations connected to this iconic industry. Coincidentally, the one I’ve visited – Jim Beam in Clermont – is the first one the author visited, as he states in his end notes and helped inspire this story.

My Take:

Who was Asher Keating? The first miracle associated with him comes three days after his burial in the town’s potter’s field. His followers – numbering twelve – had camped out in the distillery’s aging house and claimed that he was their savior. William writes a story on the miracle and its publication brings pilgrims to the grave site. It brings its share of detractors also and the lives of the McFees are put in danger by the publicity it brings to the family.

This is a story where the central character is deceased before it starts. It features the homeless, the down on their luck, the mentally ill, the mafia, priests, and members of the Klan. There are scenes of violence and alcohol abuse, and hints of sexual activity. There are elements of racism and bigotry, and there’s a noticeable sectarian divide. The Klan goes after the McFees not only because they make whiskey, but because they’re Catholic. Everything slowly comes to a boil and explodes on a night that changes everything.

But The Angels’ Share also looks at redemption and rebirth. Lives are changed for the better. Things happen that cannot be logically explained, lending a sense of mystery and wonder. The very last line has an impact that can only be experienced by having read the entire book. This is a story that will stay with me for a long time.

Thank you to Thomas Nelson for my complimentary copy of The Angels’ Share, which I received in exchange for my honest review.

Have you read The Angels’ Share? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.

Excerpt

Publisher: Thomas Nelson (a division of HarperCollins Christian)

Publication Date: 17 January 2017

Page Count: 352

Read more on:   James Markert’s Website   Thomas Nelson’s Website

Purchase on:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Books-a-million   Christianbook.com

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