Driven by overwhelming longings, both the outliers and the establishment in this labyrinthine-plotted tale refuse to accept the roles society has forced upon them.
In 1859, Durksen Hurst, a visionary charlatan on the run, encounters a dozen hungry slaves stranded in the Mississippi wilds. Led by the deceptively simple-looking Big Josh, together, they agree to build their own egalitarian plantation, with Hurst acting as figurehead "master" to hoodwink the town. But wise Big Josh fears that Hurst's grandiose schemes may doom them all to the hangman's noose.
In the town, the reclusive widow, Marie Brussard French, manipulates the region's bankers and cotton brokers, everyone...except her frail, rebellious heir-apparent, Devereau. Driven by unbearable loneliness to mad acts, Devereau threatens to expose the family's own tenuous façade-which would prove fatal to the Frenches.
Meanwhile, Antoinette DuVallier, a beautiful, Cassandra-like fugitive from New Orleans with mysterious ties to the Frenches, arrives on her own desperate mission. Her overpowering presence detonates long-repressed conflicts, unleashing a devastating upheaval of fire and blood that tears asunder the once-sleepy hamlet.
As the story's tangled webs of deceit unravel, each startling plot twist and cathartic revelation shines a fresh light on what it means to be a man, a woman, free or enslaved-indeed, what it means to be human.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.57(d)|
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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite The Lies That Bind is a stunning opening in the DarkHorse Trilogy by Ed Protzel, a gripping tale for fans of Southern fiction, and a story of deceit, slavery, and dangerous complicities. The trickster Durksen Hurst returns to Mississippi after being away for a long time and after leaving a very disgraceful legacy. He is broke and he wants to make things better this time around. He finds the opportunity when he discovers a group of slaves hiding in the wilds, hungry and desperately seeking a livelihood. He convinces them to start a plantation with him. But this venture doesn’t come as good news to many people, especially the widow, Mrs. French, and her son, Devereau. Conflict becomes inevitable and it builds up pretty fast with the arrival of the enigmatic Antoinette DuVallier, seeking her missing son. The reader is pulled into a world of deceit, greed, and lies. Ed Protzel is a gifted storyteller and readers will enjoy the setting he has created for this impassioned story, a world where slavery is a gruesome reality and where the value of human life could be traded for a morsel of bread. The story is conflict-driven and readers will love the protagonist, a man who is motivated and determined to right his wrongs. The pacing is great and the narrative voice is light and friendly, coming across compellingly through the tight and well-crafted prose. The Lies That Bind features very powerful themes masterfully written into the story, like slavery, family, and what it took to survive in the harsh world of the racial South in the 1850s. The historical elements of the story are strong and the reader’s imagination is filled with vivid images from the lyrical writing.
A twisted tale of wanting things you cannot have. A charlatan who wants peace, no more running; slaves who want freedom, an old woman who wants to be in control of everyone and everything; a son who wants to be rid of her forever, yet wants a child to carry on the family name; the child’s mother, who had him torn from her grasp and is desperate to get him back; a young woman who is compelled by God to free the slaves, and…the Civil War is at their door. From the first sentence to the last, I was pressed to find out the truth. Can’t wait for the sequel. — CJ Loiacono