Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (June 26, 2018)
Just as Jeremiah Goodbye is set to meet his fate in the electric chair, a tornado tears down the prison walls, and he is given a second chance at life. With the flip of a coin, he decides to return to his home town of Nowhere, Oklahoma, to settle the score with his twin brother Josiah. But upon his escape, he enters a world he doesn’t recognize—one that has been overtaken by the Dust Bowl. And the gift he once relied on to guide him is as unrecognizable as the path back to Nowhere.
After one jolt in Old Sparky, Jeremiah sees things more clearly and begins to question the mysterious circumstances surrounding the murders he was accused of. On his journey home, he accidentally rescues a young boy who follows him the rest of the way, and the pair arrive at their destination where they are greeted by fearful townspeople. When the Black Sunday storm hits the very next day, the residents of Nowhere finally begin to let the past few years of hardship bury them under the weight of all that dust.
Unlikely heroes, Jeremiah and his new companion, Peter Cotton, try to protect the townspeople from themselves, but Jeremiah must face his nightmares and free himself from the guilt of flipping the coin on those men who died.
Filled with mystery and magic, What Blooms from Dust is the story of finding hope in the midst of darkness and discovering the beauty of unexpected kindness.
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Jeremiah Goodbye is known as the Coin-Flip Killer in Oklahoma's Panhandle in 1935. Just as he was about to be executed by electric chair, a twister developed from a dust storm that knocked down the prison walls. Escaping with only a slight shock, Jeremiah makes his way back home to Nowhere, Oklahoma by the flip of a coin. The shock did something to Jeremiah, something for the better. Jeremiah no longer has such bad nightmares, nor can he see the darkness in men's souls so clearly as he did before. On his way to Nowhere, Jeremiah inadvertently picks up a boy, Peter, who has limited speech but understands everything happening around him. In Nowhere, barely anyone wants Jeremiah back, especially his twin brother, Josiah who turned him into the police to begin with. Nowhere has been ravaged by the dust bowl, turning the once prosperous town to dust. The people of Nowhere have been beaten down by the constant dust storms when a particularly bad duster rolls through, the town finds that Jeremiah and Peter may be just what they need in order to survive.
An amazing story of the Dust Bowl infused with magic and mystery. The town of Nowhere, Oklahoma grabbed me and was a character itself. Sold to people as Majestic, Oklahoma the town transformed, fought back and reemerged throughout the story. Jeremiah's characters is an enigma, but one that I really liked. Without learning his full story until near the end, I was continuously pulled into the many mysteries that surrounded his strange life. Jeremiah feels guilt for the death of the four men he was accused of killing, but swears he didn't actually kill them, he is able to see the bad and good in people and know their fate in life as well as being able to shield people from some of the bad that comes along. Peter was another favorite of mine, insightful and caring, bringing kindness even though he has not been shown much during his life. Even though the characters and the touches of magic engaged me the most, I did learn a lot about the dust bowl era. I had never heard of the Black Sunday dust storm and the devastation that it brought to an already ravaged area. I imagine that it would have had similar effects on the people attempting to live in the area as it did to the people of Nowhere as the residents became upset, mean and slowly lost their willpower. In Nowhere, several miracles occur after the Black Sunday dust storm that help breathe life back into a dying town. Overall, a unique historical fiction book incorporating magical realism and distinctive characters.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
James Markert lives with his wife and two children in Louisville, Kentucky. He has a history degree from the University of Louisville and won an IPPY Award for The Requiem Rose, which was later published as A White Wind Blew, a story of redemption in a 1929 tuberculosis sanatorium, where a faith-tested doctor uses music therapy to heal the patients. The Angels’ Share is his second novel, and he is currently working on his next historical, All Things Bright and Strange. James is also a USPTA tennis pro, and has coached dozens of kids who’ve gone on to play college tennis in top conferences like the BIG 10, the Big East, and the ACC.
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