AMID THE ASHES AND THE DUST by Clay Mitchell

AMID THE ASHES AND THE DUST

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A devastated Texan must rediscover his faith in order to find himself in Mitchell’s impressive debut religious novel that isn’t afraid to explore the dark side of humanity.

Tyler Morgan’s family, which has been in a small East Texas town for generations, has had its share of troubles. Tyler’s grandfather, and his gambling habit, lost their land to a swindling developer; his father can’t stand up for himself; his mother is battling cancer; and his brother suffered a traumatic brain injury. After coping with problems of his own—he lost his pro-football chances and his high school sweetheart (the love of his life) to a covetous teammate—Tyler, a Navy vet, is hoping for a new start by taking his wife and child to the Gulf Coast, where a new life and his own business await. But just as he’s leaving town, tragedy destroys his dream. Five years later and with a hole in his heart the size of Texas, Tyler is living on the Gulf Coast, far from the accusations that it was his drunk driving and refusal to use a car seat that killed his wife and son. Tyler abandons his faith and turns to drinking and brawling, but when he’s suddenly called back to his hometown, he must confront painful questions and the truth about who’s really responsible for the Morgan family’s struggles. Mitchell works with a grand cast of characters against a backdrop of godliness, creating a plot that’s as dark and twisted as the country woods of East Texas. These twists and fights pull readers along despite an unfortunate attempt at dramatic irony that reveals who was behind Tyler’s tragic accident much too early. Faith and God have a large role in the novel, to a degree that much of the dialogue can feel like a sermon, though that may be exactly what Tyler needs to become the hero he was destined to be.

An affecting novel about the collision of love, faith and loss.

Pub Date: May 24th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1475988086
Page count: 354pp
Publisher: iUniverse
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2013