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Ellsworth ponders taking his life. But when a chapel is discovered in the woods near his hometown of Bellhaven, South Carolina, he notices that healing envelops the racially mixed 1920s community---until neighbors begin to anger one another. They find the chapel is not what it seems. Ellsworth must overcome his demons to defeat the evil emanating from the woods.
|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2018
Jennybug523 Stars Out Of 5An Intriguing Supernatural StoryMarch 29, 2018Jennybug52Quality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 33 1/2 stars- The jury is still out on my final thoughts of this book. I loved Frank Perrettis books but otherwise have not read a lot of supernatural stories such as this. I loved the setting in 1920. WWI had recently ended and life was still returning to a form of normalcy for many vets and their families in the US. The author does such an amazing job of transporting you to the storys time period. It is so fun to read the dialogue and the unique phrases and sayings from back then. He clearly does a great job of researching. His descriptions of the characters and their emotions quickly grab you and pull you into the story.
This story was very intriguing. But it was also very unsettling. I would not call this a light read. It is a book that will keep you up late in the night with it heavy on your mind. It reminded me loud and clear that the human race is imperfect, even religious leaders that we so often put on pedestals and that God can use anyone to do His work. If you really enjoy stories with a strong supernatural bent then this is the book for you.
The author clearly has an amazing gift for storytelling and definitely does a great job of evoking strong emotions with his stories. I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.
tumcsecTuscaloosa, ALAge: 55-65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5very strange but interestingMarch 26, 2018tumcsecTuscaloosa, ALAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 3This was definitely a strange story. I've read An Angels Share by this same author and it was a little unorthodox as well. Several things come into play throughout this novel. The time period from WWI to the 1920s lends itself to historical. There is a magical, otherworldly feeling to the town of Bellhaven as well as the characters that live there. And throw in a battle of good vs evil and many unexpected things begin to happen.
The characters were many and all so very different, including religious leaders of almost every type church you can imagine. In the beginning the townspeople were united in spite of their color, creed and religion. But as time passed the evil that lurked in the little chapel deep in the woods started pulling everyone apart.
Ellsworth, who had a wooden leg from a war injury, was looked upon with respect by most of Bellhaven's citizens, with a few exceptions of course. He tried his best to bring the people back to a peaceful resolution but demons are hard to fight. I thought it was very interesting how the author brought in background information concerning the past to bring a better understanding of the characters and why they reacted to situations like they did. Even though the story was hard to follow at times I found it interesting nonetheless and very, very different.
I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher through the Fiction Guild but was not required to write a review.
Yvette K.5 Stars Out Of 5Supernatural and spiritual tale of grief, love, courage and sacrificeMarch 21, 2018Yvette K.Quality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Set in 1920, in the wake of the Great War, All Things Bright and Strange is a fantastic mixture of historical fiction and what more than verges on supernatural horror. The small southern town of Bellhaven, South Carolina had long embraced different races and faiths, and the preface sets the stage with a confrontation in 1917 that leaves several people dead, including Ellsworth Newberry's wife and the mother of the special young man, Raphael, that Eliza Ellsworth had brought to Bellhaven to try to protect him from racial violence.
As the main protagonist, Ellsworth Newberry is an interesting and compelling character. A born leader who has escaped death many times, crippled by enemy bombardment in the Great War, and carrying his grief and guilt almost to the point of suicide, Ellsworth is surrounded by a diverse cast of characters and faces both his demons and theirs.
Nature plays a big role in this story and the author doesn't shy away from having the effects of going beyond the yellow painted trees, something that generations have taught their children to respect, show through the actions of the various religious leaders of the town. I particularly liked that the supernatural aspect of the story that most directly impacted Ellsworth and young Raphael was not so much revealed as it was pondered and figured out, though the reader may begin to catch on a bit earlier.
As Ellsworth recalls his past and his marriage, while facing the circumstances of the present, a portrait of strength and courage in the face of seemingly unbeatable odds emerges. This is a story of tragedy, sacrifice, redemption, longed for forgiveness, faith, and evil outright and masquerading as good, with a bit of good old fashioned baseball thrown in. I do love it when authors disregard the confines of genre, and James Markert does so with finesse.
I thought The Angels' Share was fantastic (and I love that when Ellsworth drinks whiskey, it is Old Sam), but this novel makes me want to use all of my superlatives. All Things Bright and Strange is well written, plotted and paced, and just so darn good. Highly, highly recommended.
This review refers to a finished copy I voluntarily received from the publisher through Thomas Nelson and Zondervan's Fiction Guild. A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own.
MagisterMichiganAge: 55-65Gender: female1 Stars Out Of 5Disturbing and DisappointingMarch 10, 2018MagisterMichiganAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 3Value: 1Meets Expectations: 1Aside from the prologue and afterword, this book begins and ends with the declaration that "today's as good a day to die as any." But in between those two statements, everything changes for the protagonist Michael Ellsworth Newberry who speaks those words. He goes from a suicidal veteran of WWI to a sacrificial warrior determined to save his community. This book is a parable about the battle between good and evil, set in South Carolina, 1920.
I love historical fiction, and all things southern are just so...readable. So why did I have such a hard time slogging through this book? I didn't like the Peretti-like supernaturalism this novel is built around. Way too many characters to keep straight or care about, with few exceptions. Overworked cliches like, "There's a new sheriff in town," and "Beautiful doesn't always mean safe." Egregious violence and general nastiness - nothing I would expect to find from Thomas Nelson Publishers. Just a "dark" book all the way around. I have never given a book a 1-star rating, but this one earned it for me. I have to say I have never been so glad to finish a book. I received a copy via The Fiction Guild, and was not required to post a review.
bookstoregal3 Stars Out Of 5definitely bright and strangeMarch 6, 2018bookstoregalQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0James Markert is a good story-teller. The story is interesting and makes you want to keep reading, for the most part. However, it is a very strange/weird story. Odd characters. Battle between good and evil, with some of it a bit disturbing. I think it's better than his last story, but unless you are a fan of strange stories, you're probably not going to like this one...