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Christian Bend: A Novel

By author: Karen Spears Zacharias
Product Code: P548
ISBN: 9780881466232
Publisher: Mercer University Press
Availability: In stock
Price: $17.00

Christian Bend isn’t the kind of place where one expects to find the sorts of secrets the widow Burdy Luttrell has been harboring. Tucked in the hills of East Tennessee, Christian Bend is a place of piercing beauty, where the rivers and love run constant. A community of people who care for each other, the land, the music, and the stories that bind them. It’s called Christian Bend because so many people who settled the area shared the same last name, Christian. It’s a name they all tried to live up to. Even so, Burdy never could bring herself to tell Rain Hurd the truth about his father. She’d always meant to, but put it off until that day she was nearly killed in the shooting at Bean Station. As soon as he heard about the shooting, Rain left his job in Rhode Island and flew to Burdy’s bedside at that Knoxville hospital. That’s when Burdy told him about the letters. Rain didn’t believe her at first but once he found the letters, Rain was faced with a trauma of his own: What had prompted his father to abandon his family? And would Rain ever be able to forgive him the death of his mother? Would anyone at Christian Bend? Or would the community, which had long proudly regarded Zebulon Hurd as their own war hero, now abandon the aging veteran to the grief that overwhelmed him?
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Review by: Patti Henry, New York Times best-selling author of THE BOOKSHOP AT WATER'S END - August 1, 2017
CHRISTIAN BEND is a beautifully vivid and authentic rendering of Appalachia. Karen Spears Zacharias grabs us by the heart and doesn’t let go—it’s all here in CHRISTIAN BEND: tragedy, love, redemption, spirituality, and beauty. Zacharias knows how to catch the language, cadence, and intricacy of mountain life in the net of her engrossing story; she never averts her gaze from the terrible or the wonderful. Zacharias introduces us to a wide cast of characters with varied voices and then seamlessly connects them all in ways both stunning and unexpected. We find Burdy Luttrell recovering from a gunshot wound, and from there the mystery of not only the shooting but also Burdy's hidden life blooms in this page-turning novel.
Review by: Michel Stone, award-winning author of BORDER CHILD and THE IGUANA TREE - August 1, 2017
With stunning beauty and more twists and turns than a Tennessee mountain road, Karen Spears Zacharias’s novel CHRISTIAN BEND takes readers on an unforgettable journey through the gamut of human emotion, ultimately illuminating the meaning and necessity of forgiveness in our lives. Literary fiction worth its salt should speak to the human condition, or at least attempt to do so. CHRISTIAN BEND does not disappoint and will leave you on your feet, tears streaking your face, cheering for more.
Review by: Karen McElmurray, author of STRANGE BIRDS IN THE TREE OF HEAVEN and MOTEL OF THE STARS - August 1, 2017
In language rich and specific, Karen Spears Zacharias summons the mountains—its hymns and spells, its trees flaming with reds and golds, its families and their secrets. But Christian Bend, Tennessee is also part of a new culture of drugs, addiction and violence—a changing landscape. Coaxing beauty from the hollers of both memory and present, CHRISTIAN BEND reminds us of the importance of place and of spirit. Some visions, Zacharias tells us, are meant to be heeded

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