All Abel wants is a little bit of magic in his life. Enough money so his mom doesn’t cry at night. Healing for his broken body. And maybe a few answers about his past.
When Abel discovers letters to him from the dad he believed dead, he wonders if magic has come to the hills of Mattingly, Virginia, after all. But not everything is as it seems.
With a lot of questions and a little bit of hope, Abel decides to run away to find the truth. But danger follows him from the moment he jumps his first boxcar, forcing Abel to rely upon his simpleminded friend Willie — a man wanted for murder who knows more about truth than most — and a beautiful young woman who was already on the train.
From Appalachia to the Tennessee wilds and through the Carolina mountains, the name of a single small town beckons: Fairhope. That is where Abel believes his magic lies. But will it be the sort that will bring a broken boy healing? And is that the magic that will one day lead him home?
I’ve heard a lot of good things about Billy Coffey’s novels and found the idea of Christian fiction with a large dollop of magical realism to be intriguing.
Coffey has created a moving story centering on broken people in a broken world who are looking for healing.
The characters are complex, with depths not found in every story.
Part of this comes from the subject matter in the novel — when one of the main themes is death, it makes complexity a necessity.
The story is told from multiple viewpoints, which adds yet another layer of complexity.
Partially set in the modern day Appalachian mountain area, there is almost a vintage 1940s to 1950s feel to the novel.
In all honesty, there was a much stronger paranormal story line than I was expecting — so if you don’t like that sort of thing, this might not be your jam.
This definitely was an interesting and thought-provoking read that I found mostly enjoyable.
Overall, Coffey weaves together a compelling story that tugs on the heartstrings.
Billy Coffey’s critically acclaimed books combine rural Southern charm with a vision far beyond the ordinary.
He is a regular contributor to several publications, where he writes about faith and life. Coffey lives with his wife and two children in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Visit him at www.billycoffey.com.