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 father 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 on his simpleminded friend Willie—a man wanted for murder who knows more about truth than most—and a beautiful young woman they met 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 lays. But will it be the sort that will bring a broken boy healing? And is it the magic that will one day lead him home?
This is the second book from Coffey that I have read. I am a fan of how carefully he crafts his stories. This one has so many twists and turns and surprises that I really had no idea what was going to happen next. The best part about the story for me was the honesty of the characters. They were real and flawed and believable. I also appreciate the detailed descriptions present throughout the book. I had a picture in my head of the characters and the scenery. I thought Coffey did a great job with his consistency in describing Abel’s physical challenges.
The only criticism I have is that I would have liked if Coffey had not referred to Willie and “Dumb Willie” throughout the novel. It didn’t bother me as much at the beginning when the characters referred to him as “Dumb Willie”, however, by the time Abel and Willie were on their own, I thought it would have been nice to just refer to him as “Willie”.
This story is one that stays with you for awhile afterward in the best possible way. If you are looking for a real story about life with all the challenges and heartaches that come with it, you will probably enjoy this one.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.