Growing up in Virginia's Allegheny Mountains, 11-year-old Charlie York lives at the foot of an endless peak called Angel's Rest, a place his momma told him angels rested before coming down to help folks. In 1967 his town was a poor boy's paradise...until a shotgun blast killed Charlie's father and put his mother on trial for murder.
For mysterious reasons, his mother entrusts his care to an old black man named Lacy Albert Coe. Lacy tells simple stories about the good and the bad that compose life's sweetest music. But when Hollis Thrasher, a reclusive Korean War veteran, is linked to his father's death and Lacy is victimized by hate crimes, Charlie hears only silence. It's not until Charlie embarks on a dangerous midnight journey pitting him against his darkest fears that he finally hears his own song playing out.
In this remarkable debut, Charles Davis weaves together an unforgettable melody of a mother's love, a hero's return to the living, and a boy who discovers angels do exist.
"A glorious mountain tale of love, hope, and redemption. I highly recommend this beautiful story." (Adriana Trigiani, author of Big Stone Gap)
This was an good listen. The narrator was easy to listen to and the plot was engaging. The book ended with a bit of a whimper, rather than a bang, but I find a lot of authors seem to run out of steam near the end of a story. Worthwhile purchase.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
What a strange book -- "strange", in the sense of unexpected and extraordinary.
I actually bought it some time ago, long enough that I'd forgotten what I expected from it, so I began listening with no preconceived ideas. That worked to my advantage.
At times, "Angel's Rest" echoes themes of "To Kill a Mockingbird" in its sensitivity to racial issues and toward people who live solitary lives. There's death and litigation, and a child narrator telling us how it was.
But 'Angel's Rest' is more of a page-turner. I actually cancelled an appointment so I could listen to the last hour. The main plot resolutions will probably be guessed by most readers, but not the nuances, and that's what makes it different.
I especially enjoyed the unusual red herrings the author threw in,like the "bratty kid" issue.
There's a point in the book in which most of us who are parents will probably be ready to tear our hair out over the antics of 11 year old "Charlie". Let's just say that up to now, I believed that the insufferable "Arch" -- teenage son of Goldie-The-Caterer from the Dianne Mott Davidson series -- held the world record for "most spoiled kid to appear in contemporary literature".
But "Charlie' outdoes 'Arch', several times over. Worst of all, in this book, that means he nearly brings down the whole household with him, not once, but several times over.
But ahhh. don't give up. It's so nice to be proven wrong once in a while.
And like Patricia Highsmith with her anti-hero 'Ripley', author Charles Davis makes us start pulling for the villains. Or maybe what we do is just change our minds about what a villain really is. Or isn't.
All in all, a thoroughly great listen. Not to be missed!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
It was a great pleasure listening to this book. I have no reservations recommending it to another.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I was pleasantly surprised by how good this book was. Most of the story was from a child's perspective. It follows a series of traumatic events in his young life followed by his adult version reflecting on the same set of events. I thought the ending was good.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
I have to admit, there were times i got a little impatient with the story... Like i thought that if one person would just stop and explain things to the main character, it would all be resolved(as if the story was needlessly prolonged by miscommunication). But as it turns out, i was wrong. I was pleased with where the story went and realized why it needed to go the way it did. It's not a "biting" fast-paced story, it just kind of sneaks up on you and takes your interest, but definitely enjoyable. The narration was very good too, especially given some of the age and background differences of the characters, i was never unsure as to who was speaking. I didn't give it more stars just because the pacing was a little slow. I think it needed to be, but it's not my normal preference i guess. For reference, other authors I've enjoyed recently on audio include John Sandford, Ian Rankin, and Daniel Silva. (If you've read those authors too, you can tell if we have similar tastes... though stories by those authors tend to be more fast-paced.)
Engaging story line, characters and settings.
I look forward to more of the writers stories.
This was a really great story about the life of Charlie York. Most of us can relate to the feelings of the young child as he grows up in a small town in VA. The end had a wonderful twist. Very tender and unexpected! This book held my attention throughout!
While this book is a bit predictable at times, it is a great story! Well written and enjoyable to listen to. The kind of book you want to be a true story. It feels like a true story. I am looking forward to more like it.
A great story of manhood (and a bit of womanhood) from many perspectives. I'm still thinking of the many ramifications of this tale. I highly recommend it, even for young people coming of age.
The story and characters were great, and the narrator was one of the best I've heard. I hope there is more from this author.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful