Monday, August 28, 2017

The Hidden Light of Northern Fires - Review

Idgie Says: 
This is an emotional story filled with disillusionment, anticipation, dissipation, illicit longing and an overwhelming and constant feeling of fear.  Fear for health, safety and a way of life.  Fear of failure. Fear of not being able to change the future for the betterment of man, regardless of color.

This novel holds an array of characters, all battling their own demons and/or each other.  Many of these people lose their way and then attempt to find it again as a form of redemption for actions taken by them. Some of the scenes presented are expected, several are shocking.

The book encompasses several years, from before and then through the Civil War. It in no way softens the war or slavery with gentle terms and fuzzy descriptives.  All events are firmly in your face.  

This is not a happy book and I cannot promise you a resolution at the end that will suffice, but the writing grips and hangs on, carrying you through this ride, even if you do try to close your eyes at times.


Thomas Dunne Books
St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9781250122353
304 Pages
A novel rooted in the remarkable, but little-known, true history of the only secessionist town north of the Mason Dixon Line.

When escaped slave Joe Bell collapses in her father’s barn, Mary Willis must ward off Confederate guerrillas and spies, Joe’s vengeful owner, and even her own brother to help the handsome fugitive cross to freedom.

Mary has always been an outcast, an outspoken abolitionist woman in a town of bounty hunters and anti-Union farmers. Helping runaways is the only thing that makes her life in Town Line bearable. As the countryside is riled by the drumbeat of civil war and the promise of an extravagant bounty for the wounded fugitive, Mary finds herself drawn to the stranger in forbidden ways. When rebels cross from nearby Canada intent on killing him, they bring the devastation of the brutal war to the town and the farm, and threaten to destroy all that Mary loves.


About the author

Daren Wang

DAREN WANG is the Executive Director of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival, the largest independent book festival in the country. Before launching the festival, he had a twenty-year career in public radio, both national and local, with a particular focus on books and authors. Wang has written for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Paste magazine, and Five Points magazine, among others. The Hidden Light of Northern Fires is his first novel.