Saturday, August 24, 2013

{Review} The Prodigal by Michael Hurley

ISBN #: 978-1482694277
Page Count: 358
Copyright: May 28, 2013
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing

(Taken from back cover)

This sweeping, allegorical tale begins in 1851 with the escape of a Gypsy princess and her young lover from her father's camp, recalling the flight of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. The boy steals Prodigal, a sailing ship blessed with unnatural speed, and the lovers escape to sea, leaving the father to grieve for the loss and pine for the return of his child.

More than 150 years later on Ocracoke Island we meet Aidan Sharpe, an aging lawyer, as he rises from the sand of a remote beach after a lost weekend. In a strange foreboding, one woman gives him wine and another gives him water just as his world is about to be consumed by scandal. While struggling to rebuild his life in this lonely outpost of the Outer Banks, Aidan is caught up in a two-thousand-year-old mystery that unfolds with the sudden reappearance of Prodigal off the coast, adrift and unmanned. Its discovery will lead him and those close to him into the deep, in a race between time and eternity.

Charlene's Review:

In the opening of The Prodigal, we see a glimpse of a young couple and their escape from an angry father, aboard a ship in 1851. Shifting forward to 2010, we meet Aidan, a vacationing lawyer. Awakening on a deserted beach, Aidan has no idea that his future choices will soon place him right back on this very beach and right in the middle of an ancient mystery.

I was deeply drawn into the novel on many levels. A gifted writer, Mr. Hurley weaves a powerful story of love, mystery, and nautical beauty that ties together delicately through parallels from the Bible. In addition to his masterful symbolic storytelling, his characters are humanly flawed and endearing. I felt as if I was sitting on the beach as part of the mystical, emotional adventures, myself.

There are so many levels to this story, from the personal struggles for forgiveness, to a historical mystery, to a cover-up in the Vatican, it is difficult to sum it up, especially without spoiling the plot. Whether you are a believer, or not, I think everyone will appreciate the intricate writing that so beautifully mirrors the stories of Christ. This story will stay with me as one of the best reads in 2013, and I highly recommend it.

5 out of 5 stars!

*A physical copy of this novel was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

A Note from the Author:

The Prodigal was chosen as a finalist along with four other novels by reviewers for the 2013 annual BookBundlz Book Club Pick contest. The finalists were announced on August 1st. This is an annual contest to select the best novel for thousands of book club members around the world. The reviewers selected the finalists, but the winning book, to be named on September 1st, will be determined solely by the greatest number of votes from the general public between now and August 31st. People can sign up at the BookBundlz website to vote once per day and see where each of the five finalists stands in the running day by day. You can click here to go vote!

Winning this contest means enormous exposure for the book and the author, which explains why Random House and other established publishers have 3 out of the 5 books in the finals. I'd like to help my book stand out in the crowd.

Thank you for your support!

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