In the wake of World War I in the small, Southern town of Bellhaven, South Carolina, the town folk believe they’ve found a little slice of heaven in a mysterious chapel in the woods. But they soon realize that evil can come in the most beautiful of forms.
The people of Bellhaven have always looked to Ellsworth Newberry for guidance, but after losing his wife and his future as a professional pitcher, he is moments away from testing his mortality once and for all. Until he finally takes notice of the changes in his town . . . and the cardinals that have returned.
Upon the discovery of a small chapel deep in the Bellhaven woods, healing seems to fall upon the townspeople, bringing peace after several years of mourning. But as they visit the “healing floor” more frequently, the people begin to turn on one another, and the unusually tolerant town becomes anything but.
The cracks between the natural and supernatural begin to widen, and tensions rise. Before the town crumbles, Ellsworth must pull himself from the brink of suicide, overcome his demons, and face the truth of who he was born to be by leading the town into the woods to face the evil threatening Bellhaven.
Enter the days of prohibition and bootlegging.
Set in a small South Carolina town, Bellhaven in the 1920s this is a historical fiction with a touch of fantasy and horror.
I have to say I did find this to be a rather odd book with a mix of romance, war, religious symbolism, magic, and baseball! Touching on issues such as racism and hate crimes. A pretty eclectic range of things all wrapped up in one book where the main theme running through it being Good v Evil.
It takes place after WWI in a small town near Charleston with a mysterious chapel in the woods that people can communicate with their departed loved ones. The ‘healing floor’ feels like a slice of heaven to the townspeople…until it slowly starts to turn the townspeople malicious.
With some quirky characters, some not so likeable this is a compelling story bringing the characters to live and the book draws you right into Bellhaven.
Reminiscent of Stephen King’s Needful Things this is a somewhat unique, mystifying read but all in all I am glad I read it!
You can grab a copy of All Things Bright and Strange now from below
Many thanks to the author James Markert, publishers Thomas Nelson–FICTION and NetGalley for my copy in exchange for an honest, independent review.