The third novel by the acclaimed author of The River of Kings and Fallen Land.
Set in the high country of 1950s North Carolina, Gods of Howl Mountain is a dark and compelling novel of family secrets, whiskey-running, vengeance, and love.
Maybelline Docherty, “Granny May,” is a folk healer with a dark past. She concocts potions and cures for the people of the mountains—her powers rumored to rival those of a wood witch—while watching over her grandson, Rory Docherty, who has returned from the Korean War with a wooden leg and nightmares of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. Rory runs bootleg whiskey in a high-powered car to roadhouses, brothels, and private clients in the mill town at the foot of the mountains—a hotbed of violence, moonshine, and the burgeoning sport of stock-car racing.
Granny May must help her grandson battle rival runners and federal revenue agents, snake-handling pastors, and the mystery of his own haunted past: namely, the real story behind his mother’s long confinement in a mental hospital, during which she has remained completely silent.
With gritty and atmospheric prose, Taylor Brown brings to life a perilous mountain and the family who rules it, tying together past and present in one captivating narrative.
About the Author
Taylor Brown grew up on the Georgia coast. He has lived in Buenos Aires, San Francisco, and the mountains of western North Carolina. His fiction has appeared in more than twenty publications, he is the recipient of the Montana Prize in Fiction, and was a finalist in both the Machigonne Fiction Contest and the Doris Betts Fiction Prize. He is the author of Fallen Land (2016) and The River of Kings (2017); Gods of Howl Mountain is his third novel. He lives in Wilmington, North Carolina.