To the Bright and Shining Sun

To the Bright and Shining Sun

Book - 1989
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This early novel from bestselling author James Lee Burke is a gritty coming-of-age story about a young Kentucky miner growing up in the Appalachian mountains who's torn between his family life and the lure of the city.

James Lee Burke, a writer who "can touch you in ways few writers can" ( The Washington Post ) brings his brilliant feel for time and place to this stunning story of Appalachia in the early 1960s. Here, Perry Woodson Hatfield James, a young man torn between family honor and the lure of seedy watering holes, must somehow survive the tempestuous journey from boyhood to manhood and escape the dark and atavistic heritage of the Cumberland Mountains.
Publisher: New York : Gallery Books, c1989.
ISBN: 9781476708522
Branch Call Number: FICTION BUR
Characteristics: 254 p. ; 21 cm.


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jonathan4300 Jul 27, 2015

better than I expected.

Jan 04, 2015

Note: This lists 1989 as the copyright, but this is a 2014 reissue of Burke's second novel from 1970.
Before he found fame with his long-running Dave Robicheaux series, Burke wrote this book about coal mining families in Appalachia. The son tries to get out, but is dragged about into a world of poverty, poorly paid, dangerous work, violence, and blood feuds. The setting is somewhat similar to both "Justified" and "Winter's Bone" and Burke's writing is suitably gritty and lean. Probably not for the reader new to Burke, this is a good, rare example of Burke working outside of the crime genre. And this may be heresy, but I prefer him to Cormac McCarthy.

Apr 13, 2010

One of JLB's finest. In the tradition of Cormac McArthur, he traces the fateful story of a young man from an impoverished Kentucky coal-miner family through the depression until he is able to finally make his own choices.

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