In Gods of Howl Mountain, award-winning author Taylor Brown explores a world of folk healers, whiskey-runners, and dark family secrets in the high country of 1950s North Carolina.Bootlegger Rory Docherty has returned home to the fabled mountain of his childhood - a misty wilderness that holds its secrets close and keeps the outside world at gunpoint. Slowed by a wooden leg and haunted by memories of the Korean War, Rory runs bootleg whiskey for a powerful mountain clan in a retro-fitted '40 Ford coupe. Between deliveries to roadhouses, brothels, and private clients, he lives with his formidable grandmother, evades federal agents, and stokes the wrath of a rival runner.In the mill town at the foot of the mountains - a hotbed of violence, moonshine, and the burgeoning sport of stock-car racing - Rory is bewitched by the mysterious daughter of a snake-handling preacher. His grandmother, Maybelline Granny May Docherty, opposes this match for her own reasons, believing that "some things are best left buried." A folk healer whose powers are rumored to rival those of a wood witch, she concocts potions and cures for the people of the mountains while harboring an explosive secret about Rorys mother - the truth behind her long confinement in a mental hospital, during which time she has not spoken one word. When Rory's life is threatened, Granny must decide whether to reveal what she knows...or protect her only grandson from the past.With gritty and atmospheric prose, Taylor Brown brings to life a perilous mountain and the family who rules it....
|Title||:||Gods of Howl Mountain|
|Number of Pages||:||304 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Gods » Gods of Howl Mountain|
Gods of Howl Mountain Reviews
4.5 wonderfully written stars
Life in the fifties in this mountain community was vividly portrayed by Taylor Brown. Coming back from war is always difficult. To return to the normalcy of life is a task many face, witnessing the horribleness of war, time, the smell of death, the toll it takes on your mind, heart and soul.
For Rory Docherty, coming back home also meant coming back to the rural mountains of his birth. He has lost a leg to war, and returns to a place where both an internal and extern ...more
I love the bookcover!
Rory was in the Korean War and he was a Korean War Vet. He comes back home to Howl Mountain with a wooden leg. The time is 1952. The story takes place in the mountains of North Carolina. Rory is now living with his Granny May. His Mom had something terrible happen to her and she is in a mental hospital and she can not speak. This is a mystery to Rory, and he wants to find out why she is locked up in the mental institution, which he finds out is a dark family secret. When Ro ...more
Brown’s writing is nothing short of cinematic. This is my first experience with Brown and I am impressed. Rory returns from the Korean War (minus a leg) to his potion-concocting Granny May and Appalachian mountain home. He runs whiskey, races stock cars and falls in love. Buried secrets of the past inform the present. Of course, nothing remains buried forever. This is a gritty Southern novel that I mostly enjoyed. The stock car racing scenes, while well written, just didn’t interest me. However, ...more
And just like that Taylor Brown knocks it out of the park.
The machine started at dusk, headlights slashing their way down the old switchbacks that ribbed the mountain’s slopes, thunder and echo of thunder vaulting through the ridges and hollers on every side. The road sawed down out of high country, angling against valleys welled with darkness, past ridges hewn by dynamite, at times following the pale sinews of logging roads that lashed these hills half a century before. It poured ever ea ...more
3.5 Stars* (rounded down)
It was a time of whiskey runs, bootlegging and herbal medicines and potions used to aid those in need. On Howl Mountain, the living was hard. Granny May Docherty all but lost her daughter years ago in a horrible incident. Now her daughter lives is in a hospital, mute and unresponsive. Granny May has done what she had to do to survive and though most everyone judges her for it - most use her services for something or other. Rory Docherty came home from the Korean War a c ...more
This ARC was was received complements of NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. Gratitude sent to St. Martin's Press for allowing this pre-release to be made available.
I have a soft spot reserved for history served up Americana style, especially, the early to mid part of the 20th century. This novel stood boldly defiant in the face of bootleggers, thieves and scoundrels scattered throughout the mountains of North Carolina. So grab your scattergun and get ready for the ride of your life. A ...more
sitting here, trying to figure out how to describe this book, what keeps running through my mind are some of the lyrics from warren zevon’s Indifference of Heaven:
I had a girl
Now she's gone
She left town
Town burned down
which is the quintessence of zevon’s dark-molasses humor, but it’s also a pretty good way to classify authors across the grit-lit spectrum: will they or won’t they burn down the damn town? Frank Bill, Donald Ray Pollock, Clifford Jackman - they will burn their towns ...more
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”When you can't find the light
That got you through the cloudy days
When the stars ain't shinin' bright
You feel like you've lost you're way
When the candlelight of home
Burns so very far away
Well, you got to let your soul shine
Just like my daddy used to say
“He used to say soulshine
It's better than sunshine
It's better than moonshine
Damn sure better than rain
“I grew up thinkin' I had it made
Gonna make it on my own
Life can take the strongest man
Make him feel so alone
“Now sometimes I ...more