Valley of Oblivion

Strange Theater

Book 3
Jonathan Malone
Free sample

Nineteen sixty-seven was the "Summer of Love" for Hippies in San Francisco and 1968 the "Magic Summer" in the American hinterland. But Columbus Mississippi during this time is more of a nightmare. Not just because of the social unrest of the Civil Rights era and anti-war protests. At least it is for seven-year-old Little Jesse; when his parents die, and he goes to live with his shell-shocked uncle, newly returned from two tours in the Vietnam War. Jesse’s namesake, Uncle Jesse, gradually manages his stress, and the two survivors grow closer. But the light at the end of the vertiginous tunnel of trauma through which they are staggering leads to a surprising discovery.
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About the author

Jonathan Malone pastors a small Baptist church in southern Arkansas. During an undergraduate degree in Art Education, he devoured Nietzsche, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, and Henry Miller. He went on to earn the Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees in Painting. Afterward he taught in the public schools and on the university level, supplementing his income with carpentry and rental management. He also worked regularly as a freelance graphic artist and web designer. Now he is interested in Biblical prophecy, and has spent the last few years writing novels.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Jonathan Malone
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Published on
Aug 28, 2018
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Pages
179
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Family Life
Fiction / General
Fiction / Magical Realism
Fiction / Psychological
Fiction / Romance / General
Fiction / Romance / Historical / General
Fiction / Romance / Paranormal / General
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This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Roman Night is the second novel in The Sebastian Cycle trilogy of the Blood of Martyrs series, which deals with the persecution of Christians during the reign of Emperor Diocletian. The main character is the historical figure known in hagiographic literature as Saint Sebastian.


Historians suppose that Emperor Diocletian only visited Rome upon his accession in 284 and for the triumph of his Vicennalia (celebrating twenty years of reigning) in 303. This is incorrect. He was also there in 288 for a belated ceremony authorizing and commemorating Maximian co-emperor and Augustus.


This upcoming celebration occasions trouble for Sebastian, Chief of the Palace Security in Rome. During the emperor’s absence, Sebastian has been using the official residence to host clandestine meetings of Christians, one of whom is the beautiful Susanna. He cannot skirt the issue any longer. Has he been guilty of cowardice for keeping his Christianity secret?


As the emperors approach Rome, a false brother of the Church on the Palatine, a financial officer named Torquatus, begins laying the groundwork for betraying Sebastian and his friends. Although he is an informant for the pagan authorities, he hopes to eventually take over the church of Rome, foisting his own brand of heresy on it.


Two members of the Praetorian Guard are incarcerated first. Determined to overcome his fear, Sebastian refuses to disavow them. In an astonishing turnabout, some of the very officials charged with proscribing the Christians are converted by Sebastian’s bold preaching.

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK • From the National Book Award–winning author of Between the World and Me, a boldly conjured debut novel about a magical gift, a devastating loss, and an underground war for freedom.

“This potent book about America’s most disgraceful sin establishes [Ta-Nehisi Coates] as a first-rate novelist.”—San Francisco Chronicle

NOMINATED FOR THE NAACP IMAGE AWARD • NAMED ONE OF PASTE’S BEST NOVELS OF THE DECADE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Time • NPR • The Washington Post • Chicago Tribune • Vanity Fair • Esquire • Good Housekeeping • Paste • Town & Country • The New York Public Library • Kirkus Reviews • Library Journal

“Nearly every paragraph is laced through with dense, gorgeously evocative descriptions of a vanished world and steeped in its own vivid vocabulary.”—Entertainment Weekly

Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.

So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the Deep South to dangerously idealistic movements in the North. Even as he’s enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiram’s resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures.

This is the dramatic story of an atrocity inflicted on generations of women, men, and children—the violent and capricious separation of families—and the war they waged to simply make lives with the people they loved. Written by one of today’s most exciting thinkers and writers, The Water Dancer is a propulsive, transcendent work that restores the humanity of those from whom everything was stolen.

Praise for The Water Dancer

“Ta-Nehisi Coates is the most important essayist in a generation and a writer who changed the national political conversation about race with his 2015 memoir, Between the World and Me. So naturally his debut novel comes with slightly unrealistic expectations—and then proceeds to exceed them. The Water Dancer . . . is a work of both staggering imagination and rich historical significance. . . . What’s most powerful is the way Coates enlists his notions of the fantastic, as well as his fluid prose, to probe a wound that never seems to heal. . . . Timeless and instantly canon-worthy.”—Rolling Stone
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