Some Small Magic

Some Small Magic

by Billy Coffey


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Some Small Magic by Billy Coffey

From acclaimed author Billy Coffey comes Some Small Magic, "a story of determination and love . . . that deserves to be read" (RT Book Reviews).

All Abel wants is a little bit of magic in his life. Enough money so his mom doesn’t cry at night. Healing for his broken body. And maybe a few answers about his past.

When Abel discovers letters to him from the father he believed dead, he wonders if magic has come to the hills of Mattingly, Virginia, after all. But not everything is as it seems.

With a lot of questions and a little bit of hope, Abel decides to run away to find the truth. But danger follows him from the moment he jumps his first boxcar, forcing Abel to rely on his simpleminded friend Willie—a man wanted for murder who knows more about truth than most—and a beautiful young woman they met on the train.

From Appalachia to the Tennessee wilds and through the Carolina mountains, the name of a single small town beckons: Fairhope. That is where Abel believes his magic lays. But will it be the sort that will bring a broken boy healing? And is it the magic that will one day lead him home?

“Unforgettable. Evocative as memory, haunted as the South. Some Small Magic is big story magic written on the heart. Don’t read if you’re not prepared to be broken and awestruck at once.” —Tosca Lee, New York Times bestselling author

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780718084424
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 03/14/2017
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 789,060
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Billy Coffey's critically acclaimed books combine rural Southern charm with a vision far beyond the ordinary. He is a regular contributor to several publications, where he writes about faith and life. Billy lives with his wife and two children in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. Visit him at Facebook: billycoffeywriter Twitter: @billycoffey

Read an Excerpt

Some Small Magic

By Billy Coffey

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2017 Billy Coffey
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-7180-8443-1





It isn't the horrible thing he's done that bothers Abel, nor that he knows exactly why he did it, nor even that what began as the perfect plan frayed to tatters even before Mrs. Heizer chirped her whistle to end the last recess of the school year. No, what bothers Abel is that fate must always be so cruel.

Most of the last hour not spent watching the girl beside him on the bench or figuring what to tell his momma he has given over to this notion: how it is that things never seem to work out for him the way he envisions. That he now understands he was warned early this morning to simply leave Chris alone provides little comfort. But it's true — Abel was warned. The morning train had seventy-six cars. Seventy-six is an even number, which usually means good. But seven and six add to thirteen, and thirteen is the unluckiest number of all.

What makes things worse is that the bench Mrs. Heizer has left him upon is dangerous. The wood is too unforgiving for his back and hips. Sharp edges wait on all sides like traps rigged to spring. The carpet is too far from the seat to offer cushion should Abel fall. He wants to tell someone about this, Miss Ellie or the girl beside him. Wants to warn that making him sit here like a criminal may well end in disaster. But Miss Ellie is huddled with the four teachers who have gathered around her desk, and the girl has scooted all the way to the other end of the bench, leaving him alone. No one would hear him over the ringing phones and high chatter and distant yawps of children. They are happy sounds — the noise of things ending, if only for a little while.

The glass door beside him swings open. A scent like flowers follows another teacher who joins the little crowd on the other side of the counter. No student is supposed to go back there, though sometimes Miss Ellie lets Abel sit at her desk when there's no one around to tell. Abel watches her now, the way Miss Ellie's eyes smile even bigger than her lips and how her blond hair sparkles when the sunlight catches it through the window behind her. He's pretty sure he loves her. Once, Abel did a trick so good that Miss Ellie's face turned the color of a rose and she laid her hand on his knee for six whole Mississippis. That had been a good day, even though Abel had gotten hurt again.

The girl beside him won't act like he's here. She was already waiting on the bench when Mrs. Heizer brought Abel in, and she scooched over like what was wrong with him could catch. Abel thinks she's a third grader, then amends that when he spots the report card jacket on her lap — fourth grader now.

Shouting from the office down the hall. Abel leans his head forward some to see, though not so far as to risk a toppling. Principal Rexrode's door is still shut. He sighs and scratches at the cast on his right arm.

Abel's own report card is back at his desk, though the golden apple sticker for A/B honor roll (barely, he concedes — this time there were a whole lot more B-minuses than A-pluses) won't do much for his cause now. Nor will asserting that at least part of the reason for doing what he did can be laid at Mrs. Heizer's feet. Then again, she could have scrawled You suck eggs, Abel Shifflett instead of Enjoy middle school, Abel! and things still could have turned out this way. Abel still would have given Chris the present that morning, and Chris still would have squatted behind the monkey bars and blown through his pants a few hours later. Mrs. Heizer still would have seen it, and Abel would still be on this wood bench in the office where all the current delinquents / future convicts sat and waited.

He leans toward the girl, making sure not to bump his cast, and says, "What you in for?"

She keeps her head steady and pointed forward, then tugs at the left side of her hair — long and the color of garden dirt, utterly beautiful — and moves it over her eye.

Normally that response would signal the end of things. Yet if Abel has learned nothing else this day (other than never to carry out a plan, even a perfect one, when the morning train promises ill luck), it is that the last day of school provides a unique opportunity to do those things one would otherwise never attempt.

"You hear what happened?" He cocks his thumb, the good one, down the hall to where the shouts are coming from. "All that's 'cause a what I did."

The girl doesn't look his way — won't — but whispers, "Leave me alone," in an angry voice that sounds anything but a third (fourth) grader's. She scoots even more, stopping only when her body meets the armrest. Even more hair covers her face now, though Abel can see she is pretty in a way that will one day place her far from his grasp. Chris Jones says the only sort of woman Abel will ever marry is someone like the lunch lady, who has a lazy eye and four black hairs growing from a mud-colored mole on her forehead. The girl is wearing blue jeans that look new and tennis shoes that lie flat on the carpet. Abel looks down at his own shoes, a ratty pair of knock-offs his momma plucked from the bargain bin last summer. They dangle far above the carpet like dead things. He scoots down until his toes touch the floor, wincing as the wood cuts into his back and neck. His arm is itching bad now. Just below the elbow, where Dumb Willie wrote WILE in scrawling orange letters.


No response.

"Hey, you got a pencil?"

"Go way."

"I can't. I got in trouble. You hear what I did?" He reaches into his pocket and then out with a motion quicker than required, given the girl isn't paying attention. "You got a pencil?" he says again. "I'll pay you for it."

He makes the switch and lifts his left hand out to her, thumb up and palm out, the nickel hidden in the fleshy part of his thumb and forefinger. Holds it there until she peers from between the strands of hair to see Abel's fingers empty. He flicks his hand outward, throwing the nickel forward and snatching it from the empty air. Her full lips part as her eyes widen in a moment of glory, bringing a smile to Abel's face before it begins to fade as the girl's gaze drifts from his hand to the rest of him — the mop of blond hair that cannot manage to hide his broad forehead; eyes dull at the irises with whites not the color of milk but a pale blue; the stained, brittle teeth; one shoulder wedged higher than the other, giving the appearance of a boy forever locked in a confused half shrug; the compact, dwarfish body. The last bell of the year sounds through speakers already gathering dust in hallways and classrooms, but to Abel it is more than a notice of freedom. It's the alarm going off in the girl's mind as she registers the ugly truth of the ruined boy beside her.

Abel's sleights of hand have seen him through his six years of schooling, won him three Mattingly Elementary School talent shows, and produced no small measure of oohs and aahs from classmates enchanted by his ability to produce something from nothing. But those tricks have never bought him their love. Love is a magic too powerful for even Abel to master.

The girl leaps up and shoots for the door, scurrying to safety just ahead of the teachers filing out, and all Abel can manage is to remain half-prone with his feet on the floor and a nickel in his hand as the school empties for summer. Behind the wooden door down the hallway, the yelling continues. The words aren't from Principal Rexrode, which is good. But they're from Chris Jones's daddy, which is certainly bad. Abel winces and tries to fool his mind by scratching again at his cast. Pain is something to which he has mostly grown accustomed over his eleven years, but not the itching. It always starts at a place he cannot reach and ends somewhere deep inside his brain.

"Here go."

Miss Ellie has come around the counter. She crouches in front of Abel and slips a pencil into his good hand. He jabs the sharpened end down between his wrist and cast, shuddering with pleasure.

"Thanks, Miss Ellie."

He grins now, drawing her gaze as the fingers of his good hand push the pencil deeper. They slip off to grasp the plastic stick hidden inside. Abel draws the stick out with a flourish and twists his wrist at the last moment, producing a fake daisy. The yellow center and each of the white petals is caked with dead skin and lint that Abel's sweat has rolled to tiny gray balls. He offers the flower to Miss Ellie anyway, who accepts it with a chuckle. She puts her hand to Abel's knee

(One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Miss —)

and tilts her head toward Principal Rexrode's office. "Sounds testy in there."

"You hear what I did?"

"Honey, whole school heard what you did." She flashes a smile before wrangling it down, but not before Abel can tuck that memory away. Maybe all he'll manage to marry someday is a woman like the lunch lady, but Abel will lie down with her every night thinking of Miss Ellie's smile. "Not that I'm condoning it," she says. "That was an awful thing you did, Abel."

"No awfuller than what he's done to me. I ain't scared a them."

"Well, I know who you should be scared of, and right now she ain't waiting tables at the diner, she's fighting a gaggle of wilding kids to get in here and handle the mess you made."

"Think Chris made all the mess," Abel says. He grins, can't help it, and finds Miss Ellie grinning too.

"Don't you be so smart." Miss Ellie glances up through the windows.

Abel imagines a river of children churning past behind him, laughing and yelling as they share what they're doing for summer, trips to the beach and sleepovers and adventures, all those things he won't do.

"Your arm just itch? Or does it hurt? I can get you something out of Rachel's office."

"No," he says. "Momma catches me taking drugs, she'll skin me alive."

"Don't think aspirin counts."

"It's okay. I only itch."

Miss Ellie glances up and makes a grin. "Here she comes. Gird your loins, Abel."

The door swings wide to a new smell — not flowers, but cooking grease and cigarettes. The brown bun that Lisa Shifflett tied her hair into this morning has gone sagging now, pressed down along her stooped shoulders from the weight of the breakfast rush, the first of the lunch crowd, and the life Abel knows they both struggle through. She is pale in spite of the June month, waiflike with her skinny arms and legs. Deep lines have formed beneath her eyes. Streaks of gravy and meatloaf are stuck to the front of her apron, a preview of what Abel knows will be their supper.

She bends low and runs her hands over Abel's body, checking his good arm and then his bad one, his chest and legs and feet. "What's wrong?" she asks. "Abel? Did you get hurt again?"

"I'm fine, Momma."

Miss Ellie says, "Nothing to get worried over, Lisa. I'm sorry I had to call you down, but Mister Rexrode insisted. There's been a little trouble."

"Trouble?" Abel glances up to find his momma's eyes have caught a spark. "Chris? Was it Chris again?" She sighs like she most often does and lays a hand to her forehead, pressing back tears and rage. "You'd think that boy'd let Abel be on the last day, Ellie."

Abel says, "Well, Momma ...," thinking this may be the only chance to tell his side of things, but now here is Principal Rexrode's door opening and Principal Rexrode stepping out, telling Lisa hello and y'all come back, let's get this thing straightened out. Abel hears his momma say come on, she's got to get back to the diner before Roy fires her for good. He picks himself up off the bench and follows. The walls tilt with each step, hurting Abel's back and hips and his bad arm now where the itch was, and what Abel is left with is a feeling of doom and sadness — still not for what he's done to Chris, but for whatever is about to be done to him.

He glances back toward Miss Ellie. She stands as though her heart is full to breaking, like she is the maiden who will wait in purity and prayer and Abel the knight off to battle a great dragon. Her hands are clasped at her flat stomach. She winks.

Abel turns back and waddles on. He wishes he could disappear.

That's never been a trick he could master either.


Lisa Shifflett cannot count the number of times she's made this walk to Charlie Rexrode's office. Too many, she knows. And yet this time, which she understands will be the last — next year it will be the office at the middle school and after that the one at Mattingly High and then, she supposes, the dean's office at some college (ha-ha) — things feel different somehow. It's as though someone has added an extra forty feet to the hallway since she last visited, or as though Lisa has stumbled into one of those dreams where she's running from something but her feet are stuck in sand. She needs to hurry, yet everything is happening slowly.

People tell her it's not all that different, raising a son like Abel, but they don't know. They say it's no different for any momma who must raise a boy on her own. Always with a tinge of guilt in their voices as though they know their words are a lie, leaving her a small stack of quarters or the occasional dollar bill for a tip — just like that tone in Lisa's voice when she answers Thank you and I appreciate your prayers, her own praying long past. But it is different. That's what Lisa wants to tell them but never does. It's different because Abel is special and none of you can know that because none of you are like him, and that's why none of you will ever understand and why it'll always be us against you. Me and Abel standing alone against the stiff wind, my boy and his momma and no one else, because we're all we have.

That's what Lisa ponders as she steps into that measureless hallway with Charlie Rexrode's dimpled face way at the end. Not how Roy was mad because she had to leave her tables again or that the tips Lisa would miss were to be set aside for their bill at the market, but that a day that dawned as one more fight of attrition has now skewed toward full-on battle. Her hand reaches back and meets Abel's fingers, her arm swaying, her shoulders dipping and jerking in time with his uneven hips.

Charlie Rexrode steps aside. Lisa ignores his smile, her eyes too full of the god-awful boy slumped in the last of three folding chairs laid out in front of the principal's desk. Chris's daddy, Royce, stands behind him, three hundred pounds of fleshy rolls and a scowl beneath his beard. With Royce is Rachel Barlow, the school nurse. Already Lisa is yelling. She cusses Chris Jones for whatever thing he's done now and cusses Royce for siring such a demon of a child, her voice shifting from the tired though happy one that is her usual to the raised one of work, the voice that calls out orders of scrambled eggs and chicken potpie to Roy. Screaming at them, at Chris, this boy from over the hill who has been Abel's torment since kindergarten. The cast was on her son's leg then, not his arm. It was red instead of yellow.

"What'd you do to my son now, you little —"

The last word is cut off, not by Royce's hard glare but by his boy's appearance. Chris Jones has always been a big child, fat and strong like his daddy, everything Abel will never be. Yet now he looks feeble, hunched in the chair like a trapped animal half-starved. His face is the pale yellow of the sunlight leaking through the windows. His brow shines sweaty and slick.

Lisa asks, "What in the world happened to you?"

"Your boy," Royce answers, "that's what. He near killed my son."

Charlie Rexrode clears his throat and moves from the door. "Now let's not get all dramatic here, Royce. Lisa, sit on down. You too, Abel."

Abel sits in the chair next to Chris. Lisa takes the other, leaving Royce to stand. Everything is happening slowly again, only this time the sand isn't on the floor, it's in the air. Even breathing comes hard.

"Sorry again, Lisa," the principal says.

Royce huffs. "She ain't the one needs apologizing to, Charlie. Ain't her boy been upended."

"Shut up, Royce"— still smiling, Charlie's always doing that, even though Lisa sees a weariness behind that smile she knows well —"already gave you my sorry. Won't be another."

The worn leather chair behind the desk wails as it takes the principal's big frame. He reaches into a drawer and pulls out a torn and empty box that he places at the center of the desk. Everyone regards it but Abel.

"Excuse me," Lisa says. "Will someone please tell me what's going on?"

"I know Abel's had his problems," Charlie says.

Abel looks up — to his principal, not his mother, though Lisa can still see the expression on her son's face. There is no anger there, more a hurt, as though Abel has just been offended.

Charlie corrects himself. "With Chris, I mean. Lord knows these two been in here more than once, and Lord knows it's always Chris's doing."

Royce opens his mouth. Charlie shuts it with a single pointing finger.


Excerpted from Some Small Magic by Billy Coffey. Copyright © 2017 Billy Coffey. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Some Small Magic 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
SemmieWise More than 1 year ago
** “(Spring’s) always been my favorite time. Everything looks so dead and gone and then it all starts growing back like the world’s been holding its breath and this is the exhale. I’ve always thought spring meant hope. Like it’s God’s way of saying I know you’ll all screw this up again, but let’s try one more time anyway. One time I heard that the definition of a miracle is something coming from nothing. If that’s true, then I guess spring is the biggest miracle of all.” ** Billy Coffey offers another Mattingly, Va., tale with “Some Small Magic,” a deeply emotional novel full of shocking twists and a story of overcoming life’s travails and bullies with a magical sense of hope. Young Abel Shifflett is a boy crippled with a brittle bone disease, wise beyond his years. He has a love for magic and trains, and a deep friendship with Dumb Willie, a young man who is “special” like Abel after having been “dropped” on his head as a baby. When Abel learns his father, whom he’s always believed was dead, is actually alive, Abel and Willie embark on a journey to Fairhope, N.C., to find a bit of healing and belonging. After jumping a boxcar after a deadly situation occurs, Abel and Willie meet a beautiful and secretive young women, whom they call Dorothy. She helps them along their journey, as they each help one another grow and learn important life lessons. “Some Small Magic” is a story full of plot twists you’ll never see coming. Coffey deeply builds the relationship between Abel, Willie and Dorothy — into an almost family-like bond. Readers will fall in love with the sweetly innocent Abel and Willie, encouraged by their blind faith and loyalty. Besides being an interesting Appalachian adventure story, “Some Small Magic” offers so many gems and lessons. Major themes that trickle throughout the novel are faith, healing, finding the magic in life, and the sense of “meant” — that things are just meant to be and can’t be changed. Coffey also reminds us that no matter how perfect or imperfect people’s lives may seem, we all face storms in our lives. His story deals with the journey of keeping promises; seeing the light in the shadow; things aren’t always as they seem; healing brought about by finding one’s treasures; be careful what you put your stock in; and overcoming the sense that we are too broken to be healed. But it is also a great love story, one that seeks the ultimate source of love — God. As Dorothy tells Abel: “There is a love far greater, ever bright and never fading, calling all things back to itself. Calling all things home. And I wonder at that love, because it carries a depth measureless and beyond my reaching.” This book takes place in a modern day setting, but almost reads as a hill country novel from the 1940s or ’50s, which gives it a certain amount of charm. It’s full of small town, slow living life. It does feature some mild cursing and a few occasions of smoking and drinking. “Some Small Magic” is a delightful tale that will leave you evaluating your life, and encouraging you to find the magic in each of your days. Five stars out of five. Thomas Nelson provided this complimentary copy for my honest, unbiased review.
LucyMR1 1 days ago
I was drawn into this story from the beginning and had a hard time putting it down. This author has that affect on you.....I can also say his writing can be strange, creepy, very different, but if you stick with it you will see the metaphors and the good vs. evil. It deals with the difficult subject of bullying and even though I hate the repetitive bad word the bully calls Abel, I can understand the why of it. It breaks my heart that Abel has physical difficulties and is bullied because of it. I love that Dumb Willie befriends him and the bond of their friendship carries them through the tough times, but is everything as it seems? Read this one with an open mind and don’t overthink it. If you are looking for something different that is well written, then give this a try. I admit I was skeptical because of the supernatural elements, but by the end was pleasantly surprised. I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson & Zondervan Fiction Guild. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Schedule a block of time when you pick up Some Small Magic, as you won't want to put it down. Abel wanders into your heart and brings Dumb Willie right with him. Coffey maps an unexpected journey for them with a surprising travel companion. Since my words do not flow like water the way the author makes them, I can only say--read this, and all the other Mattingly books.
EpicFehlReader More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars The perspective of the story shifts ever so slightly between our three key players -- Abel, Willie and "Dorothy". Coffey does an especially nice job of subtly bringing in Willie's voice. Without changing the rhythm of the writing in a jarring fashion, Coffey changes his writing just a touch -- making it more simple in style or writing words in a more phonetic way -- to quietly let readers know they've shifted from the thoughts of Abel to Willie (and back again, later). Coffey's way of laying all this out brought to mind John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. Willie is one of the most endearing characters here, drawing readers in with his boundless love and faith in good people, even when Abel lets you in on his friend's story. Willie's mental slowness? His parents claim it was caused by him falling off a wagon as a child, but Abel suspects the source is more along the lines of Willie's father beating and abusing him for years, Willie's parents treating him more like a burden / source of free labor than a beloved son. Abel's suspicions seem confirmed one day when Abel goes to Willie's house to find him chained up with just a small jug of water at his side, parents nowhere to be found. It breaks your heart and at the same time makes you think of Willie as the kind of soul too good for this world. This turned out to be my favorite of Coffey's books to date. The novel warmly touches upon the theme of family and friendship, the lengths we go to to creating (or at least contributing to) a fulfilling life for the ones we love. Some Small Magic also ends up being a nice illustration of just how far a little hope, a dash of that "faith of a mustard seed", can take a person in life. Key characters are living out hollow, painful, sad existences, punishing themselves for things largely beyond their control. Depressing as that sounds, Coffey turns it around, showing that no matter how far gone one's situation seems, there's always time to learn how to let go and live for joy again. For those interested in using this as a possible book club pick, a page of discussion questions are included at the back of the book. FTC Disclaimer: TNZ Fiction Guild kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions above are entirely my own.
AngelaBycroftNZ More than 1 year ago
In part grand adventure, in part grand allegory with a dash of good old fashioned sentimentality - Some small magic has more than a small amount of magic for what at surface level seems a simple adventure tale. But don’t let appearances fool you - this is one story that you won’t put down and forget in a hurry. Abel is a young crippled boy who lives with his solo mum who struggles to make ends meet, living in their small trailer park. Abel wishes he could be of more help and hates to see his mother come home and cry herself to sleep. When he stumbles upon some long forgotten letters his mother has hidden away from his ‘supposed’ dead father - he decides he needs to set out on a journey with his friend - “Dumb” Willie to find him. In typical boyhood adventure - much drama and excitement ensue. But one small event means much more than first thought and one little girl lurking in the shadows of a railway box car will change their futures forever. I found Billy Coffey’s book both a pleasure and a challenge to read if that’s possible. The writing style, while engaging also has a poetic style which takes more concentration I find, but rewards the reader with a beautifully crafted story which leaves one moved by the experience. I also always remember a book which can magically pull the rug out from under the reader literally at the midway point. Everything I had previously understood to be try - now wasn’t. It was a clever plot device and made the rest of the book a real ‘how will they sort this one out’ scenario. All and all, I can heartily recommend Some Small Magic to anyone who is looking for a great read which goes beyond surfaces level and reaches in to pull on the heart strings.
RobbyeReviewer More than 1 year ago
Some Small Magic is the first book I have read by Billy Coffey. He is a very talented and articulate author, and his imagery puts you right in the middle of the scenes. However, having said that, I had a difficult time reading Some Small Magic. I fell in love with Abel, the son of Lisa, a poor, hardscrabble woman just trying to make it day to day as a waitress. Abel was born with soft bones and was constantly breaking one; also, his hips were misaligned, and he was smaller than most children his age. I also loved “Dumb” Willie, so named for his slowness in speech and learning, caused, many believed, by his father crushing his head when he was an infant. He and Abel loved and cared for each other as only true friends can. My difficulty came from the way the author graphically depicts the town bully’s cruel treatment of Abel and the overwhelming amount of supernatural overtones, and some tough scenes of violence. I wanted to like the story; in fact, I read the entire book for that reason. However, there was just too much of the preternatural for me to feel good about the book. (Perhaps if it hadn’t been from Thomas Nelson/Zondervan, I wouldn’t have felt this way.) The only real reference in the story to anything of a religious or biblical nature is to a preacher that is a shyster. I guessed early in the story, even before there were some obvious clues, what had happened and what the ultimate ending would be. If you like dark stories, with some redeeming qualities, you may like the book. **********************Forewarning****************************** There are many instances of one particular curse word, and another one is also used. There can be triggers due to some scenes of graphic violence. ****************************************************** I received a complimentary copy of this book from Fiction Guild and was under no obligation to post a review.
Cynthia181 More than 1 year ago
I received a copy from The Fiction Guild. I was not required to give a favorable review. All thoughts are my own. I had trouble at the beginning of the book getting into the story line. But I kept at it. It is a very interesting read. It might not be something I normally read but once I read it I was glad that I did.
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
Some Small Magic is a good read. I enjoyed the characters, plot, and set in the hills of Virginia, which is my favorite setting in a story. Recommended. 4 stars
BookReviewerTG More than 1 year ago
I always have some trepidation about reading a novel written by an author I'm not familiar with. To me opening up a new book and reading by a is like going to a new dentist. I know, I take my books and dentist seriously. So, not knowing what to expect from Mr. Coffey I began reading Some Small Miracle. And was intrigued. The story is fast paced, emotional and rather interesting. What struck me most, though, was that this story is like reading about the South. If you live in the South, you understand what I mean. Southerners have a way of speaking and acting that is a whole different culture. Abel, the main character, loves his mama. And since money is tight he just wants to make life easier for her. When Abel finds letters from his dead dad he decides to run away. the one town that stays at the forefront of his mind is Fairhope. He knows if he can just get there, he'll find the answers he needs. When Abel jumps on that first Boxcar danger is his constant companion. But he meets up with Willie who is simpleminded but knows more truth than most. A most unusual journey and a most interesting read! *This book was provided for review by The Fiction Guild/Thomas Nelson*
Ellen-oceanside More than 1 year ago
SOME SMALL MAGIC by Billy Coffey. Thomas Nelson publisher All Abel wanted was a little magic in his life, money for his mom, and healing for his broken body, from a medical condition. Letters come, were they really from his dead father, could he find answers from where they came from. Last day of school he played a trick on the bully, who caused Abel to be at the principal's office time and time again. Chris vows to get even, and Abel, has to take it serious, because his body might not take it. A traveling medicine man comes to town, could that be the magic he needed. Or if they went, would there be more talk about him and his mother. For Abel a young boy the belief in magic is real. The story touches one of the magic that is all around, one only has to believe. Story that will change, encourage,you as you travel with .Abel. Given ARC by Thomas Nelson for my voluntary review and my honest opinion.
joyful334209 More than 1 year ago
Some Small Magic is a heartwarming, heart wrenching, amazingly touching and GOD Blessed story. From page one it takes you on a magical journey with CHRIST. It's about a little boy - a very special little boy named Abel - and his journey's in life, with a special friend named dumb Willie. Abel is special because he is a broken boy meaning his bones are so soft if he were to get hit - fall - etc - that it would very serious. He was raised without a Dad - told he was a dead but he found something that might cause some confusion. He goes somewhere using something serious to get there with dumb Willie - they meet someone who is important to them, but I cannot tell you all this - it will ruin your read - tell you what - it is serious - surprising - and amazing- you see Abel did a trick on a boy at school and now - oh boy the boy is after him and if the boy catches him well - he is dead - for real - but the trick he did was so very nasty - you would not believe it - Then a man comes to town who can commit miracles - can he cure Abel? will he get beat up? will he die? what happens with his father? The best thing about this book is that it is full of JESUS - yay JESUS - Amen? you cannot beat a book full of JESUS. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
SusanSnodgrassBookworm More than 1 year ago
The Curse of Crow Hollow was the first Billy Coffey book I read. It was spectacular. One thing is for sure, he does write odd stories. Make you think and also they are like watching an episode of The Twilight Zone. Odd and very interesting. This one pulls at the heartstrings. Sad to the very end. Note: There are a good many uses of the word 'b-----d' and one other foul word. I did not appreciate that and felt it was unnecessary in a book labeled Christian fiction. I was given a preview copy of this book by the publisher via Net Galley. My opinions are my own.