Beulah's House of Prayer

Brick Mantel Books
Free sample

 Some storms bring destruction. Others bring salvation.

In 1934 the tiny town of Barmy, Oklahoma, is in desperate need of a miracle. The cows are hungry, the rain won’t fall, most of Main Street is boarded up. Young aspiring trapeze artist Sugar Watson is dumped unceremoniously into this bleak setting with little money and only one thing on her mind—escape. Beulah Clinton, a Holy Ghost preacher, has dedicated herself to helping the distressed in this ragged little wasteland, and Sugar soon finds herself thrown in with Marigold Lawford, the simple-minded widow of the richest man in town, and Homer Guppy, a boy trouble follows like dust after a wind.

Despite Sugar’s immediate distaste of Barmy, Beulah’s patience, Marigold’s kindness, and Homer’s unconditional love make her reconsider the meaning of home.

On Black Sunday, the worst dust storm in history brings with it a choice: Sugar must decide whether or not to return home, leaving the hospitality—and love—of Barmy’s inhabitants. A stunning Depression-era literary novel with a touch of magical realism, Beulah's House of Prayer captivates until the very end.

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About the author

Cynthia A. Graham is the winner of several writing awards, including a Gold IPPY and Midwest Book Award for Beneath Still Waters, and her short stories have appeared in both university and national literary publications. She attained a B.A. in English from the Pierre Laclede Honors College at the University of Missouri in St. Louis. Cynthia is a member of the Historical Novel Society, the St. Louis Writers' Guild, the Missouri Writers' Guild, and Sisters in Crime. She is the author of two works of historical mystery: Beneath Still Waters and Behind Every DoorBeulah's House of Prayer is her first foray in the land of magical realism.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Brick Mantel Books
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Published on
Jul 12, 2016
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9781941799345
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Coming of Age
Fiction / Historical
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Magical Realism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2017 BY THE BOSTON GLOBE AND THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

"So filled with vivid descriptions and complex characters that the reader's experience is virtually cinematic. . . Utterly compelling." – The Washington Post

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Two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1914. Before long, their talents emerge: Pierrot is a piano prodigy; Rose lights up even the dreariest room with her dancing and comedy. As they travel around the city performing clown routines, the children fall in love with each other and dream up a plan for the most extraordinary and seductive circus show the world has ever seen. 

Separated as teenagers, sent off to work as servants during the Great Depression, both descend into the city’s underworld, dabbling in sex, drugs and theft in order to survive. But when Rose and Pierrot finally reunite beneath the snowflakes – after years of searching and desperate poverty – the possibilities of their childhood dreams are renewed, and they’ll go to extreme lengths to make them come true. Soon, Rose, Pierrot and their troupe of clowns and chorus girls have hit New York, commanding the stage as well as the alleys, and neither the theater nor the underworld will ever look the same.

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From award-winning author James Markert comes a Southern tale of fathers and sons, young romance, revenge and redemption, and the mystery of miracles.

Now that Prohibition has ended, what the townspeople of Twisted Tree, Kentucky, need most is the revival of the Old Sam Bourbon distillery. But William McFee knows it’ll take a miracle to convince his father, Barley, to once more fill his family’s aging house with barrels full of bourbon.

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But as news spreads about the miracles at the potter’s field, the publicity threatens to bring the depth of Barley’s secret past to light and put the entire McFee family in jeopardy.

“Distinguished by complex ideas and a foreboding tone, Markert’s (A White Wind Blew) enthralling novel captures a dark time and a people desperate for hope.” —Library Journal

“Mysterious, gritty and a bit mystical, Markert’s entertaining new novel inspires the question of ‘What if?’ Many characters are nicely multilayered, providing a good balance of intrigue and realism. The fascinating glimpse into the process of distilling bourbon—and the effect of the Prohibition on Kentucky and its bourbon families—adds another layer to the story.” —RT Book Reviews

In this “wonderfully rich” (San Francisco Chronicle) novel, a young man journeys from California to Cairo to unravel centuries-old family secrets.

WINNER OF: THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION’S SOPHIE BRODY AWARD • THE NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD IN FICTION • THE SAMI ROHR PRIZE FOR JEWISH LITERATURE • Named One of the Ten Best Books of the Year by the BBC • Longlisted for the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association Fiction Prize • A Penguin Random House International One World, One Book Selection

Joseph, a literature student at Berkeley, is the son of a Jewish mother and a Muslim father. One day, a mysterious package arrives on his doorstep, pulling him into a mesmerizing adventure to uncover the tangled history that binds the two sides of his family. For generations, the men of the al-Raqb family have served as watchmen of the storied Ibn Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo, built at the site where the infant Moses was taken from the Nile. Joseph learns of his ancestor Ali, a Muslim orphan who nearly a thousand years earlier was entrusted as the first watchman of the synagogue and became enchanted by its legendary—perhaps magical—Ezra Scroll. The story of Joseph’s family is entwined with that of the British twin sisters Agnes and Margaret, who in 1897 depart their hallowed Cambridge halls on a mission to rescue sacred texts that have begun to disappear from the synagogue.

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Praise for The Last Watchman of Old Cairo

“A beautiful, richly textured novel, ambitious and delicately crafted, The Last Watchman of Old Cairo is both a coming-of-age story and a family history, a wide-ranging book about fathers and sons, religion, magic, love, and the essence of storytelling. This book is a joy.”—Rabih Alameddine, author of the National Book Award finalist An Unnecessary Woman

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“Brilliant.”—The Jerusalem Post
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