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Just as Jeremiah Goodbye is set to meet his fate in the electric chair, a tornado tears down the prison walls, and he is given a second chance at life. With the flip of a coin, he decides to return to his home town of Nowhere, Oklahoma, to settle the score with his twin brother Josiah. But upon his escape, he enters a world he doesn’t recognize—one that has been overtaken Just as Jeremiah Goodbye is set to meet his fate in the electric chair, a tornado tears down the prison walls, and he is given a second chance at life. With the flip of a coin, he decides to return to his home town of Nowhere, Oklahoma, to settle the score with his twin brother Josiah. But upon his escape, he enters a world he doesn’t recognize—one that has been overtaken by the Dust Bowl. And the gift he once relied on to guide him is as unrecognizable as the path back to Nowhere. After one jolt in Old Sparky, Jeremiah sees things more clearly and begins to question the mysterious circumstances surrounding the murders he was accused of. On his journey home, he accidentally rescues a young boy who follows him the rest of the way, and the pair arrive at their destination where they are greeted by fearful townspeople. When the Black Sunday storm hits the very next day, the residents of Nowhere finally begin to let the past few years of hardship bury them under the weight of all that dust. Unlikely heroes, Jeremiah and his new companion, Peter Cotton, try to protect the townspeople from themselves, but Jeremiah must face his nightmares and free himself from the guilt of flipping the coin on those men who died. Filled with mystery and magic, What Blooms from Dust is the story of finding hope in the midst of darkness and discovering the beauty of unexpected kindness.


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Just as Jeremiah Goodbye is set to meet his fate in the electric chair, a tornado tears down the prison walls, and he is given a second chance at life. With the flip of a coin, he decides to return to his home town of Nowhere, Oklahoma, to settle the score with his twin brother Josiah. But upon his escape, he enters a world he doesn’t recognize—one that has been overtaken Just as Jeremiah Goodbye is set to meet his fate in the electric chair, a tornado tears down the prison walls, and he is given a second chance at life. With the flip of a coin, he decides to return to his home town of Nowhere, Oklahoma, to settle the score with his twin brother Josiah. But upon his escape, he enters a world he doesn’t recognize—one that has been overtaken by the Dust Bowl. And the gift he once relied on to guide him is as unrecognizable as the path back to Nowhere. After one jolt in Old Sparky, Jeremiah sees things more clearly and begins to question the mysterious circumstances surrounding the murders he was accused of. On his journey home, he accidentally rescues a young boy who follows him the rest of the way, and the pair arrive at their destination where they are greeted by fearful townspeople. When the Black Sunday storm hits the very next day, the residents of Nowhere finally begin to let the past few years of hardship bury them under the weight of all that dust. Unlikely heroes, Jeremiah and his new companion, Peter Cotton, try to protect the townspeople from themselves, but Jeremiah must face his nightmares and free himself from the guilt of flipping the coin on those men who died. Filled with mystery and magic, What Blooms from Dust is the story of finding hope in the midst of darkness and discovering the beauty of unexpected kindness.

30 review for What Blooms from Dust

  1. 4 out of 5

    Eve Recinella (Between The Bookends)

    So first thing first, I choose this book because of its' cover. It is beautiful, and truth be told, I am easily swayed by a pretty cover. Luckily for me, it wasn't just the cover that was beautiful, the story between the covers was also gorgeous. It is a little slow out of the gate but stick with it, and I promise you will not be disappointed. The writing was fantastic. The setting atmospheric. I'll be honest, I knew nothing about the dust bowl before reading this book, but this author did a tr So first thing first, I choose this book because of its' cover. It is beautiful, and truth be told, I am easily swayed by a pretty cover. Luckily for me, it wasn't just the cover that was beautiful, the story between the covers was also gorgeous. It is a little slow out of the gate but stick with it, and I promise you will not be disappointed. The writing was fantastic. The setting atmospheric. I'll be honest, I knew nothing about the dust bowl before reading this book, but this author did a tremendous job of making me feel like I was experiencing the grit, despair, and hopelessness right along with the residents of Nowhere, Oklahoma. The characters were well developed and intriguing. I loved Jeremiah Goodbye and Peter Cotton. Can't say I was a huge fan of Ellen, but this book was full of interesting characters for sure. The plot was unique and engaging with a thread of magical realism woven throughout. I loved the added element of the coin flipping and the typewriter. All that said, my favorite part of this book was the last 20% or so. Perseverance, forgiveness, kindness, and hope. The letters, and the roses. I'll admit, I had a few tears in my eyes watching this town come back to life. Not only come back to life but THRIVE. It was a powerful ending with a powerful message. Nothing more left to say really. I am so happy that this cover caught my eye. And this was another great read that reminded me that I have to step out of the romance genre box more often. This one gets two HUGE thumbs up from yours truly.

  2. 5 out of 5

    DJ Sakata

    Favorite Quotes: Wilmington said he felt a duster coming every morning. He liked to hedge his bets and say he told you so. Least when I talk I don’t look like a mouse nibblin’ on cheese… Back when you had hair on your head and a stomach that fit in your pants. How do you continue gaining weight when the rest of us can’t seem to keep it? Your mother died too young, Jeremiah. Death ain’t picky when it comes to things like that. It takes you when it takes you and then leaves you to cope without the lea Favorite Quotes: Wilmington said he felt a duster coming every morning. He liked to hedge his bets and say he told you so. Least when I talk I don’t look like a mouse nibblin’ on cheese… Back when you had hair on your head and a stomach that fit in your pants. How do you continue gaining weight when the rest of us can’t seem to keep it? Your mother died too young, Jeremiah. Death ain’t picky when it comes to things like that. It takes you when it takes you and then leaves you to cope without the least bit of instructions on how you’re supposed to do it. There’s signs up everywhere in California… They say No Okies Allowed. They don’t want us. Nobody wants us. We’re no different from the Indians and the Blacks and the Mexicans… They put us on the same signs. The same signs. My Review: “Health, wealth, and opportunity,” were the promises on a brochure depicting a lovely town with paved roads and a wholesome and established community which had lured a train filled with hopeful new residents, all eager to see their new investment of homes and property, only to find themselves in the middle of nowhere, in a field in the Oklahoma panhandle in 1920s. Swindled and fleeced. They settled there anyway and ironically named their newly established town, Nowhere, Oklahoma. I love irony and Mr. Markert used it cleverly throughout his intricately woven storylines and brilliantly paced and engrossing tale. Masterfully crafted are the words that kept turning over in my mind as I read this evocative and superbly written book. It was quite stunning. Mr. Markert’s cunning use of detail and striking descriptions plucked at all senses while sharp visuals danced through my gray matter. I became so engrossed in the story I grew hot and thirsty when they were parched; I could almost hear the wind and smell/taste/feel the grit of the relentless dust that permeated every scene. Their despair and exhaustion wafted across the pages. I also felt low-energy as they grew increasingly listless and despondent. But in addition to all that was the eeriness of the sixth sense and unexplainable good/evil type forces at play. I was fully invested in this startling and peculiar family drama from beginning to end and despite the arduousness of the tale; I was well pleased and fully satisfied with the journey.

  3. 4 out of 5

    James Markert

    You're not supposed to pick your favorite baby, but this one...I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thank you to all the Goodreads readers out there for doing what you do!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne (It's All About Books)

    Finished reading: February 16th 2018 "The land was just too strong and mean and too determined to break them. Just as they had broken it." *** I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. *** (view spoiler)[ I admit I was sold the minute I saw that beautiful cover and read the blurb. What Blooms From Dust promised magic and mystery in a historical setting, and what more can I wish for? This story is Finished reading: February 16th 2018 "The land was just too strong and mean and too determined to break them. Just as they had broken it." *** I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. *** (view spoiler)[ I admit I was sold the minute I saw that beautiful cover and read the blurb. What Blooms From Dust promised magic and mystery in a historical setting, and what more can I wish for? This story is set in the United States of the 1930s, a time I've always been interested in but haven't read all that much about. Both the setting in Nowhere, Oklahoma and the timeframe are interesting, although the emphasis of this story isn't on the year (1935) everything took place in Nowhere. You get that feel of the past, but the focus of What Blooms From Dust is more on the town Nowhere itself and the main character Jeremiah. I must confess that I was feeling mighty confused in the beginning, and I wasn't sure what to make of this story. It was definitely a slowburner for me, but once the dust that had blown in had settled down a bit, I suddenly found myself hooked. This initial feeling of being lost probably has to do with the magical realism of the story, which I always need some time with before I'm used to it, but in the case of What Blooms From Dust these magical realism elements really worked. From the coin-flipping to Jeremiah himself and the aftermath of the Black Sunday... All less than credible elements on its own, but together they create that magical and mythical atmosphere that simply makes this story work. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but please don't let the mention of magical realism dissuade you! The writing, like the magical elements, may take some time to get used to, but once you do it is fantastic. It sets just the right tone and atmosphere for this story, and definitely helped make this story into what it is. The plot is quite interesting, but what truly stands out is the deeper message of What Blooms From Dust, a message of finding hope in the darkness and the power of kindness. Without doubt a wonderful story! Jeremiah is about to meet his fate in the electric chair, but a tornado tears down the prison walls and he escapes. Using his famous flip of a coin, he returns to his home town of Nowhere, Oklahoma, where he has unfinished business with his twin brother Josiah. But a lot has changed since he went away three years ago. Nowhere has been overtaken by the Dust Bowl, and the gift he once relied on to guide him no longer seems to work properly. What will happen to Jeremiah and his home town? Like I said before, What Blooms From Dust was a slowburner for me, but once the dust had settled down I found myself completely and utterly hooked. This is an example of a story where magical realism simply works, and only enhances the reading experience instead of complicating it. Magical, mystical and a healthy dose of mystery around Nowhere and its inhabitants... You will want to keep reading until you reach the final page and find out all about Nowhere and its mysteries. Recommended! (hide spoiler)] P.S. Find more of my reviews here.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Maddy

    I really didn’t know what to expect from this book. I’ve never read anything by this author but the description sounded interesting, so I decided to give it a try. I’ll be honest and say that at about 100 pages in, I didn’t think I was going to like this book. While I liked the characters and some aspects of the story, it was pretty dry. Dust storms kept coming in and no one in the town had any hope. It was just storm after storm, everyone getting more depressed and ready to give up. About half w I really didn’t know what to expect from this book. I’ve never read anything by this author but the description sounded interesting, so I decided to give it a try. I’ll be honest and say that at about 100 pages in, I didn’t think I was going to like this book. While I liked the characters and some aspects of the story, it was pretty dry. Dust storms kept coming in and no one in the town had any hope. It was just storm after storm, everyone getting more depressed and ready to give up. About half way through the book though, a young boy named Peter completely changed the town. He started killing the evil with kindness. Peter was such a sweet character and I immediately liked him. He was young and had gone through a hard childhood, and yet he went around bringing joy into these townspeople’s lives. He carried a typewriter around everywhere to write notes to people, and it was just the sweetest thing. He really made this story special. I also enjoyed Jeremiah’s side of the story. In the very beginning he has just escaped from jail, and is heading back to his hometown. He wasn’t welcome at first, but with Peter’s help they completely changed the town. So while I wasn’t a big fan of the first half of the book, the second half definitely made up for it. There was so much meaning, forgiveness, and second chances which I loved. Overall, I would recommend this book. Once you get past the beginning this book has so much meaning and it’s really beautiful. “ I received a free copy of this book in exchange of my honest review. All thoughts are my own.”

  6. 4 out of 5

    Katy (Katyslibrary)

    3.5 Stars!! Review originally from my blog Katy's Library Blog Thank you so much TLC Book Tours for sending me copy of this book and for having me on this book tour! From the second I started reading this book I had a southern twang voice in my head narrating as I read.  I loved that this book sucked me in to the Dust Bowl era and Midwestern vibe.  Slow moving but filled with hope and forgiveness I gave this book 3.5 stars. I wasn't sure how I would feel about this book at first as, like I said, it 3.5 Stars!! Review originally from my blog Katy's Library Blog Thank you so much TLC Book Tours for sending me copy of this book and for having me on this book tour! From the second I started reading this book I had a southern twang voice in my head narrating as I read.  I loved that this book sucked me in to the Dust Bowl era and Midwestern vibe.  Slow moving but filled with hope and forgiveness I gave this book 3.5 stars. I wasn't sure how I would feel about this book at first as, like I said, it was a bit slow moving.  But I really ended up liking the characters.  Jeremiah and Peter were my favorites and I enjoyed Ellen and Wilmington as well.  Jeremiah was fresh out of jail on his way home to family that blamed him for events that happened years ago and Peter was a young boy being sold by his family so they could get some extra money.  Their paths crossed and they ended up needing each other and I really like those kind of relationships.   I also liked the back story to this small town and the way hope and family brought everyone through the tough times and the dusters. The writing was well done too.  I thought the tone was well captured and it set my mood while reading perfectly.  However, I did think some things were a little too cheesy by the end.  I don't want to give anything away so I won't go into it,  I'll just say I don't always love too much cheese but I am glad it was a happy ending. I think this is well worth a read especially if you love wild west type books with family, love, hope, and forgiveness thrown in!

  7. 5 out of 5

    KayG

    A few years ago I read Timothy Egan’s excellent The Worst Hard Time, a nonfiction book about the Dust Bowl. When I saw a NetGalley book of historical fiction set during the Dust Bowl, I quickly requested it. I love historical fiction because it puts me in someone else’s head in another time. This novel did not disappoint. In short, settlers came west to the land that had been taken from the American Indians. They settled there, endured hardships, and eventually prospered. However, the land had b A few years ago I read Timothy Egan’s excellent The Worst Hard Time, a nonfiction book about the Dust Bowl. When I saw a NetGalley book of historical fiction set during the Dust Bowl, I quickly requested it. I love historical fiction because it puts me in someone else’s head in another time. This novel did not disappoint. In short, settlers came west to the land that had been taken from the American Indians. They settled there, endured hardships, and eventually prospered. However, the land had been used unwisely - native grasses were stripped for crops. It was the recipe for ecological disaster. A drought hit during the Great Depression of the thirties. Great windstorms picked up dust with such strength that it destroyed crops, animals, shelters, and people. Storms were so massive that even New York and Washington D. C. felt the effects. These dust storms went on for years. This story is about a family who came to Oklahoma during the early settlement and stayed to prosper - and then the hard times hit. Through the eyes of the residents of Nowhere, Oklahoma I experienced the Dust Bowl firsthand. I’m so glad I read this - interesting and informative. Thank you, NetGalley, for allowing me an early read! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Arden Belrose

    3/5 stars I received a free copy of this book, thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. My opinions remain uninfluenced by this. Beautiful cover, interesting concept, not too well executed story. 'Filled with mystery and magic, this exquisite novel from award-winning author James Markert is a story of finding hope in the midst of darkness and discovering the beauty of unexpected kindness.' Mystery, there was but it's overblown. Magic, not so much as the kind you find 3/5 stars I received a free copy of this book, thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. My opinions remain uninfluenced by this. Beautiful cover, interesting concept, not too well executed story. 'Filled with mystery and magic, this exquisite novel from award-winning author James Markert is a story of finding hope in the midst of darkness and discovering the beauty of unexpected kindness.' Mystery, there was but it's overblown. Magic, not so much as the kind you find in Harry Potter. More along the lines of 'miracles'. Exquisite, not really. Finding hope, check. Discovering the beauty of unexpected kindness, check. Those last two came about quite late in to the book and by a sole event. This story fell short of my expectations and I didn't know it was set in a wild-west world. It started out mysterious but eventually ended with 3 rounds of corniness that felt like the story had gone off-kilter from its original noir tone. The attempt at a mixed-genre of wild-west and supernatural reminded me of 'Cowboys & Aliens' but the dark entity in this book was never fully explained and was not the focal point of the story. What 'What Blooms from Dust' does right is the depiction of a wild-west community, life during the 'Dust Bowl' era and the thunderous fear it strikes during a particularly monstrous storm. I really liked the part about the strange trance that descended upon the townsfolk after a malefic dust storm. Overall, the story failed to capture my full interest. Recommend for wild-west fans and readers who like a movie-style cheesy ending.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rina

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I would like to thank netgalley for an ARC of What Blooms from Dust in exchange for my honest opinion. Overall reaction: 3 stars- I liked it. I like the overall concept of the book. I currently teach U.S. History and find most subjects related to the Great Depression fascinating. For historical fiction, I found this book to be a little far fetched. I liked the premise, convict escapes death row because of a tornado. It sounds like the type of legend that might arise during the Dust Bowl. However, I would like to thank netgalley for an ARC of What Blooms from Dust in exchange for my honest opinion. Overall reaction: 3 stars- I liked it. I like the overall concept of the book. I currently teach U.S. History and find most subjects related to the Great Depression fascinating. For historical fiction, I found this book to be a little far fetched. I liked the premise, convict escapes death row because of a tornado. It sounds like the type of legend that might arise during the Dust Bowl. However, when the main character, Jeremiah, accidentally purchases a child who has autism for a quarter, I just found myself saying that is totally absurd. I did however like the general landscape of the story. It really does give readers an impression of how terrible the Dust Bowl was on the Great Plains.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Patty

    I have written before about books that are smarter than me. This is one of them. I just know that I missed things so I am definitely keeping this one to read again – it’s that kind of book. The kind of book that develops with each successive read. Your understanding of the characters and events will grow. What Blooms From Dust is not your typical historical fiction novel. It does share the horror and despair of the Dust Bowl through the story of the people in Nowhere. Oklahoma. The founders of th I have written before about books that are smarter than me. This is one of them. I just know that I missed things so I am definitely keeping this one to read again – it’s that kind of book. The kind of book that develops with each successive read. Your understanding of the characters and events will grow. What Blooms From Dust is not your typical historical fiction novel. It does share the horror and despair of the Dust Bowl through the story of the people in Nowhere. Oklahoma. The founders of the town had moved there with promises of a majestic city already in place but found out that when they arrived there was … nothing. They decided to stick it out and the decisions they and others on the plains caused the ecological damage that when there was prolonged drought led to the Dust Bowl. One family is the center of the tale, the Goodbyes. I am sure that name is purposeful and significant but I haven’t figured that out yet. Twin brothers Jeremiah and Josiah both love the same girl. Jeremiah has been in prison lately and had been set to be electrocuted but a tornado rolled through just as they pulled the switch and he was able to escape. He is heading back home to settle some scores. Along the way he finds a woman selling one of her children as she claims she can’t afford to feed them. The boy is a little addled and repeats everything that is said to him. He also carries around a typewriter that he is constantly typing on. There is so much to this tale that simply cannot be explained. I was hooked from the very first paragraph and I could not put it down. I seriously want to read it again but my reading schedule doesn’t allow the time for it right now. It is not a straightforward book as it does wander into the realm of magical realism and with books written like that you either go with the flow or you fight them the whole way. I am a very literal reader as I have mentioned before but there are authors that can break through that and Mr. Markert is one of them. I didn’t care that actions and events didn’t necessarily make sense in a real context. They made sense in this world. If you let them. And do, please do. This book was a magical exploration of love, redemption and perseverance.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Shelby Kollin

    Jeremiah Goodbye is one of those characters you grow to love and who winds up becoming your favorite. Peter Cotton is mesmerizing and adorable. And Wilmington Goodbye is the grandfather everyone wishes they had. Markert does a wonderful job at building his characters. I never felt lost as to who was who and by the end of this story I felt like I knew everyone. This is a story about community. It's about finding hope in the most unlikely of places at the most unlikely of times as townspeople lite Jeremiah Goodbye is one of those characters you grow to love and who winds up becoming your favorite. Peter Cotton is mesmerizing and adorable. And Wilmington Goodbye is the grandfather everyone wishes they had. Markert does a wonderful job at building his characters. I never felt lost as to who was who and by the end of this story I felt like I knew everyone. This is a story about community. It's about finding hope in the most unlikely of places at the most unlikely of times as townspeople literally dig up the dust in search for life. It is a story about family and what it means to forgive and to love unconditionally. It is a story about an American dream and turning Nowhere into Somewhere. I did feel the storyline was a bit odd at times and didn't always mix together well. I enjoyed the slightly paranormal aspects to it, but the more magical aspects threw it off a tad for me. The relationship between Ellen and the twin brothers felt unnecessary to me and the story probably could have done without that and Peter's peculiar background. But overall this was beautifully written! I found myself turning the pages often and the characterization in this was so well done.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Kidwell

    What Blooms from DustA Novelby James MarkertThomas Nelson--FICTIONThomas NelsonGeneral Fiction (Adult) , Historical FictionPub Date 26 Jun 2018I am reviewing a copy of What Blooms in the Dust through Thomas Nelson and Netgalley:Jeremiah Goodbye is set to die by electrocution on the electric chair when he is given a second chance at life. He decides to return to his hometown of Nowhere Oklahoma by the flip of a coin, he wants to settle the score with his twin brother Josiah. But when he escapes h 
What Blooms from Dust
A Novel
by James Markert
Thomas Nelson--FICTION
Thomas Nelson
General Fiction (Adult) , Historical Fiction
Pub Date 26 Jun 2018
I am reviewing a copy of What Blooms in the Dust through Thomas Nelson and Netgalley:
Jeremiah Goodbye is set to die by electrocution on the electric chair when he is given a second chance at life. He decides to return to his hometown of Nowhere Oklahoma by the flip of a coin, he wants to settle the score with his twin brother Josiah. But when he escapes he enters the world of the Dust Bowl. And the gift he once relied on to guide him is an unrecognizable as the path to nowhere.
On the journey home, Jeremiah Goodbye rescues a young boy by accident, and the two arrive to dark skies and townspeople who are fearful. These people have finally begun to let the past few years of hardship bury them under the weight of all that dust. Jeremiah and Peter Cotton become unlikely heroes, trying to protect the residents of nowhere from themselves. Jeremiah must also face his nightmares and free himself from guilt of his past and the secrets that destroyed his family.
What Blooms in the Dust is a beautiful tale of finding hope in the midst of the darkness.
I give What Blooms from Dust five out of five stars!
Happy Reading!


  13. 5 out of 5

    Susan Snodgrass

    I must confess I knew very little about the dust bowl other than just a general idea. This book brings the stark reality and pain of this event front and center. I cannot even begin to imagine what these people endured. Horrible! We meet Jeremiah Goodbye as he is just escaped from the electric chair after a tornado rios through the prison in which he is incarcerated in 1935. He sets out for his home in Nowhere, OK. Along the way, he buys a little bit from a mother who can no longer afford to Fee I must confess I knew very little about the dust bowl other than just a general idea. This book brings the stark reality and pain of this event front and center. I cannot even begin to imagine what these people endured. Horrible! We meet Jeremiah Goodbye as he is just escaped from the electric chair after a tornado rios through the prison in which he is incarcerated in 1935. He sets out for his home in Nowhere, OK. Along the way, he buys a little bit from a mother who can no longer afford to Feed her family. Jeremiah has a very unique gift that features prominently in this story. James Markert also has a unique ability and that is creating some very interesting characters. My thanks to the publisher, Thomas Nelson, for a complimentary copy of this book. The opinion stated here is entirely my own.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Stella

    Reading about Oklahoma and the Dust Bowl has always felt like coming home. These are stories I know well, my own family split in two during the dust bowl, with half staying in OK and the other half leaving for California. What Blooms from Dust is the story of Nowhere, Oklahoma. From the first settlers to the Dust Bowl, we visit the town and it's residents. Jeremiah Goodbye returns to Nowhere to settle a score with his twin brother, but upon his return he doesn't recognize his hometown, now ravag Reading about Oklahoma and the Dust Bowl has always felt like coming home. These are stories I know well, my own family split in two during the dust bowl, with half staying in OK and the other half leaving for California. What Blooms from Dust is the story of Nowhere, Oklahoma. From the first settlers to the Dust Bowl, we visit the town and it's residents. Jeremiah Goodbye returns to Nowhere to settle a score with his twin brother, but upon his return he doesn't recognize his hometown, now ravaged by the Dust Bowl. What follows is the story of one town and one man who has to learn to forgive himself. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Coe

    I scored an advanced copy of What Blooms from Dust from the author and was able to take it on vacation and read it cover to cover uninterrupted. Since I blew through it, of course I want to read it again. Historical fiction is my favorite genre and the backdrop of the Dust Bowl was fascinating. Jeremiah’s journey from his prison break back to Nowhere was brutal. I couldn’t fathom how or why anyone could live and thrive during the Dust Bowl in a small town like Nowhere. Jeremiah and his family ha I scored an advanced copy of What Blooms from Dust from the author and was able to take it on vacation and read it cover to cover uninterrupted. Since I blew through it, of course I want to read it again. Historical fiction is my favorite genre and the backdrop of the Dust Bowl was fascinating. Jeremiah’s journey from his prison break back to Nowhere was brutal. I couldn’t fathom how or why anyone could live and thrive during the Dust Bowl in a small town like Nowhere. Jeremiah and his family had such a will to live and overcome their surroundings. Peter was probably my favorite character. He was such a mystery throughout the book and I loved how he brought everyone back together in the end. Perseverance, forgiveness and hope were themes shot through the book. No matter how bad conditions were for the family and townspeople, there was always a glimmer of hope. Peter’s letters and the roses blooming through the dust were the icing on the cake. I’m a big James Markert fan and highly recommend What Blooms From Dust.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    I loved this story! I especially appreciated that I could not have figured out the ending and no foul language. I am marking this author to follow and look forward to reading more of his books!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gillion Machota

    *RECEIVED FROM NETGALLEY This book was not what I expected. It was about this group of people who go through the Dust Bowl, which I do not see a lot of when it comes to historical fiction books, and I loved it. It was not the best but I could not stop reading it. I loved the symbolism of the typewriter and the coin that goes throughout the story. I also loved the murder concept of the coin flip killer. It is not your average way of killing and I liked the uniqueness of it. It was like reading the *RECEIVED FROM NETGALLEY This book was not what I expected. It was about this group of people who go through the Dust Bowl, which I do not see a lot of when it comes to historical fiction books, and I loved it. It was not the best but I could not stop reading it. I loved the symbolism of the typewriter and the coin that goes throughout the story. I also loved the murder concept of the coin flip killer. It is not your average way of killing and I liked the uniqueness of it. It was like reading the story by Lois Lowery, I cannot remember the book title, and I would recommend this if you liked that book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Denice Barker

    The Goodbye family lived in Nowhere, Oklahoma. Jeremiah and Josiah Goodbye were born and grew up in Nowhere but their lives were just different enough that Jeremiah’s gift of calling out someone through a flip of a coin, and always getting the flip right, was countered with his nightmares. The nightmares plagued him his whole life and lasted exactly one minute and fifty two seconds. Josiah held his hand through them everytime. We meet Jeremiah in the electric chair. Exactly at the moment the swi The Goodbye family lived in Nowhere, Oklahoma. Jeremiah and Josiah Goodbye were born and grew up in Nowhere but their lives were just different enough that Jeremiah’s gift of calling out someone through a flip of a coin, and always getting the flip right, was countered with his nightmares. The nightmares plagued him his whole life and lasted exactly one minute and fifty two seconds. Josiah held his hand through them everytime. We meet Jeremiah in the electric chair. Exactly at the moment the switch is flipped, a tornado tears down the jail, killing everyone in the jail but Jeremiah. The force of the storm releases him from the chair and he walks away toward home. On the way he buys a child, who was being sold by his mother, for twenty five cents. Peter is, as we would know now, autistic. His mother just thinks he’s weird. Peter gladly comes away with Jeremiah, carrying his typewriter, which he types on constantly, even though he doesn’t have any paper. Coming home to Nowhere is risky. It was the sheriff there who sent Jeremiah to jail. The story of the Goodbye family is told through the backdrop of the dust storms which come daily, sometimes more than once a day and finally, the biggest, baddest storm of them all, black, fierce, long and hard sucks what is left of the life and will of the people of Nowhere. Black Sunday does them in. They give up. They become like zombies, hiding in their homes, not cleaning out their homes as storm after storm continues, they begin to starve and don’t care. We find out what it’s like to live with dust in your nose, lungs, between your teeth, in your clothes, beds, breaking windows, coming in through any tiny way. And it’s scary. It’s scary to read about but the author puts us there living it. After Black Sunday Peter has the answer. The Great Depression of the 1930’s has always fascinated me. Not being mathematically gifted, I could never wrap my head around the economics of it but I could understand drought and land abuse and desperation. My interest in the Depression was centered mostly on the Dust Bowl, the area of our country that was devastated by drought and because the land had been laid bare, the ensuing dust storms. The magnitude is hard to imagine. Not everyone left their farms for the promise of what California offered. This story is about hope, stamina, strength, fortitude and stubbornness. I couldn’t put it down.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Deanna

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. “What do you think it is?” “It’s a rose.” “I know that, but…where’d it come from? Nothing blooms from dust.” “Some things can’t be explained, so you don’t even try to.” I knew nothing about Markert and the type of books he writes, but after reading the descriptions of his other books, two things are clear: he writes historical fiction, and they usually contain some element of the supernatural. I kind of wish I had known this coming in, because for a good portion of the story, I thought the main cha “What do you think it is?” “It’s a rose.” “I know that, but…where’d it come from? Nothing blooms from dust.” “Some things can’t be explained, so you don’t even try to.” I knew nothing about Markert and the type of books he writes, but after reading the descriptions of his other books, two things are clear: he writes historical fiction, and they usually contain some element of the supernatural. I kind of wish I had known this coming in, because for a good portion of the story, I thought the main character was kind of nuts, and when you think the main character is nuts, it makes you not want to finish reading the story. But I pushed through, and if you’re a fan of historical fiction, especially the Dust Bowl era, and a bit of mystery, then you should too. “It was real, Ellen, every secret day of it. So real I was willing to test it.” “Test what?” “Fate, I guess. I’d learned early on that the coin was never wrong with me. But with you I wanted to give it a go. I carried a torch for you, and I wanted to see how long it could burn.” “You say you’ve seen me before. Well I think I’ve seen you too. Because sometimes angels fall to the earth and walk as normal people.” This story is also one of family, of romance – two brothers in love with the same woman, one dating her secretly, the other not really dating her but openly adoring her. She wants to be with the one she’s dating in secret, but he knows it can’t be, so he tells her to marry his brother. Then he gets arrested, and things get complicated. But this is a story of redemption, not only for the brothers and their family, but also for the town in which they live. “I wish you’d been my father from the get-go.” “Without you there is no me…If I can call you Daddy then I’ll no longer be an orphan.” Jeremiah couldn’t have hid his grin if he’d wanted to. “Reckon that’d be okay, son.” The family dynamic was fun to read about, how each of the adults deal with the dusters and then how that permeates into their everyday lives and with each other. And then there is coin flip aspect – at first I thought it was kind of nuts, but mixed in with Jeremiah’s nightmares and the ‘feelings’ he gets around specific people, and I just accepted it after a while, hoping that Markert had a good explanation. (He totally did, by the way.) And the way the coin and fate are incorporated together is well done. As we all know, or should know, as Jeremiah did, that us mere mortals have no right to ever play God. “I’m here only for the truth.” “And the truth shall set us all free?” “No, Jeremiah, the truth shall set you free.” “Kindness had made roses bloom from dust.” So what does bloom from dust? In this story, roses. In reality? Nothing. But sometimes something intangible. Courage. Strength. Acceptance. Truth. Kindness. And best of all - hope. “I’m telling you, only the strongest of the strong could overcome what you did…You know what I think? I think life and death was wrestling over you, Jeremiah. Or maybe it was good and evil. Yes, that’s how I look upon it now. And you were just too darn stubborn to give in without a fight.” Thank you NetGalley for the ARC.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Deadlined

    What Blooms from Dust A Novel by James Markert Publisher: Thomas Nelson General Fiction (Adult), Historical Fiction, Magical Realism Expected publication: June 26th 2018 4/5 Stars: Highly recommended for book clubs Jeremiah Goodbye has been tried and set to meet “Old Sparky” after being convicted of the murder of four men. But in the first of mystical events peppering the novel, a tornado hits the Oklahoma prison as the warden flips the switch on the electric chair, freeing Goodbye and setting him on What Blooms from Dust A Novel by James Markert Publisher: Thomas Nelson General Fiction (Adult), Historical Fiction, Magical Realism Expected publication: June 26th 2018 4/5 Stars: Highly recommended for book clubs Jeremiah Goodbye has been tried and set to meet “Old Sparky” after being convicted of the murder of four men. But in the first of mystical events peppering the novel, a tornado hits the Oklahoma prison as the warden flips the switch on the electric chair, freeing Goodbye and setting him on the road to an uncertain future. In the Dust Bowl of the 1935 Oklahoma plains, that road is made even more hazardous by thieves, suffocating windstorms, and the law chasing Goodbye, determined to return him to prison. Yet Goodbye makes each decision as he always has, based on the flip of a coin. This trait is so familiar he’s called “Coin Flip Killer.” His habit of coin flipping stems from his early childhood though, and folks from his hometown of Nowhere no not to tempt fate on the toss of his coin. When Goodbye’s luck returns him to Nowhere, he will find out if it is good or bad, and if his future holds a chance for reconciliation with his past, his family, and his town. And what will the future for all entail. Description Just as Jeremiah Goodbye is set to meet his fate in the electric chair, a tornado tears down the prison walls, and he is given a second chance at life. With the flip of a coin, he decides to return to his home town of Nowhere, Oklahoma, to settle the score with his twin brother Josiah. But upon his escape, he enters a world he doesn’t recognize—one that has been overtaken by the Dust Bowl. And the gift he once relied on to guide him is as unrecognizable as the path back to Nowhere. After one jolt in Old Sparky, Jeremiah sees things more clearly and begins to question the mysterious circumstances surrounding the murders he was accused of. On his journey home, he accidentally rescues a young boy who follows him the rest of the way, and the pair arrive at their destination where they are greeted by fearful townspeople. When the Black Sunday storm hits the very next day, the residents of Nowhere finally begin to let the past few years of hardship bury them under the weight of all that dust. Unlikely heroes, Jeremiah and his new companion, Peter Cotton, try to protect the townspeople from themselves, but Jeremiah must face his nightmares and free himself from the guilt of flipping the coin on those men who died. Filled with mystery and magic, What Blooms from Dust is the story of finding hope in the midst of darkness and discovering the beauty of unexpected kindness. I received a complimentary review copy from NetGalley.com. #NetGalley #JamesMarkert # ThomasNelson #HistoricalFiction #Oklahoma #DustBowl

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Bradburn

    Synopsis of What Blooms from Dust: Just as Jeremiah Goodbye is set to meet his fate in the electric chair, a tornado tears down the prison walls, and he is given a second chance at life. With the flip of a coin, he decides to return to his home town of Nowhere, Oklahoma, to settle the score with his twin brother Josiah. But upon his escape, he enters a world he doesn’t recognize—one that has been overtaken by the Dust Bowl. And the gift he once relied on to guide him is as unrecognizable as the p Synopsis of What Blooms from Dust: Just as Jeremiah Goodbye is set to meet his fate in the electric chair, a tornado tears down the prison walls, and he is given a second chance at life. With the flip of a coin, he decides to return to his home town of Nowhere, Oklahoma, to settle the score with his twin brother Josiah. But upon his escape, he enters a world he doesn’t recognize—one that has been overtaken by the Dust Bowl. And the gift he once relied on to guide him is as unrecognizable as the path back to Nowhere. After one jolt in Old Sparky, Jeremiah sees things more clearly and begins to question the mysterious circumstances surrounding the murders he was accused of. On his journey home, he accidentally rescues a young boy who follows him the rest of the way, and the pair arrive at their destination where they are greeted by fearful townspeople. When the Black Sunday storm hits the very next day, the residents of Nowhere finally begin to let the past few years of hardship bury them under the weight of all that dust. Unlikely heroes, Jeremiah and his new companion, Peter Cotton, try to protect the townspeople from themselves, but Jeremiah must face his nightmares and free himself from the guilt of flipping the coin on those men who died. Filled with mystery and magic, What Blooms from Dust is the story of finding hope in the midst of darkness and discovering the beauty of unexpected kindness. Facts: This book was Published by Thomas Nelson It will be available to purchase June 28th, 2018 It’s 337 pages I got it free from Harper Collins BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for a review. (thanks!) My thoughts are my own, as always. I give this story four stars. Here are a couple places you can buy it or learn more: Goodreads | What Blooms from Dust: A Novel | Thomas Nelson Time to be 100% transparent. I requested this book because of that cover. I like history, and I knew only a little about the Dust Bowl, so I thought, “hey, why not”. The story is gritty, and I felt as if the weight of the dust and the despair of the citizens of Nowhere, OK, weighed on my own shoulders. The story was deep, and it hurt, and it felt real. Serious kudos to James Markert for bringing me into the 1920s. This story might change you. It’s exactly what I do on my bookstagram (minus, you know, the depressing, heavy events). Trudge through that dust with the characters (who you will love and despair over) through to the end. I promise it’s worth it. It’ll shed a little hope on whatever struggles you have in this moment. Hope is worth it. And the conclusion of this painful, deep, riveting, altering story… is hope. What Blooms From Dust? Hope.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Jeremiah Goodbye is known as the Coin-Flip Killer in Oklahoma's Panhandle in 1935. Just as he was about to be executed by electric chair, a twister developed from a dust storm that knocked down the prison walls. Escaping with only a slight shock, Jeremiah makes his way back home to Nowhere, Oklahoma by the flip of a coin. The shock did something to Jeremiah, something for the better. Jeremiah no longer has such bad nightmares, nor can he see the darkness in men's souls so clearly as he did befor Jeremiah Goodbye is known as the Coin-Flip Killer in Oklahoma's Panhandle in 1935. Just as he was about to be executed by electric chair, a twister developed from a dust storm that knocked down the prison walls. Escaping with only a slight shock, Jeremiah makes his way back home to Nowhere, Oklahoma by the flip of a coin. The shock did something to Jeremiah, something for the better. Jeremiah no longer has such bad nightmares, nor can he see the darkness in men's souls so clearly as he did before. On his way to Nowhere, Jeremiah inadvertently picks up a boy, Peter, who has limited speech but understands everything happening around him. In Nowhere, barely anyone wants Jeremiah back, especially his twin brother, Josiah who turned him into the police to begin with. Nowhere has been ravaged by the dust bowl, turning the once prosperous town to dust. The people of Nowhere have been beaten down by the constant dust storms when a particularly bad duster rolls through, the town finds that Jeremiah and Peter may be just what they need in order to survive. An amazing story of the Dust Bowl infused with magic and mystery. The town of Nowhere, Oklahoma grabbed me and was a character itself. Sold to people as Majestic, Oklahoma the town transformed, fought back and reemerged throughout the story. Jeremiah's characters is an enigma, but one that I really liked. Without learning his full story until near the end, I was continuously pulled into the many mysteries that surrounded his strange life. Jeremiah feels guilt for the death of the four men he was accused of killing, but swears he didn't actually kill them, he is able to see the bad and good in people and know their fate in life as well as being able to shield people from some of the bad that comes along. Peter was another favorite of mine, insightful and caring, bringing kindness even though he has not been shown much during his life. Even though the characters and the touches of magic engaged me the most, I did learn a lot about the dust bowl era. I had never heard of the Black Sunday dust storm and the devastation that it brought to an already ravaged area. I imagine that it would have had similar effects on the people attempting to live in the area as it did to the people of Nowhere as the residents became upset, mean and slowly lost their willpower. In Nowhere, several miracles occur after the Black Sunday dust storm that help breathe life back into a dying town. Overall, a unique historical fiction book incorporating magical realism and distinctive characters. This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sara Wise

    James Markert once again brilliantly blends together an historical story with a supernatural twist in “What Blooms from Dust.” Taking place during the mid-1930s, when the devastating Dust Bowl hit the midsection of the United States, “What Blooms from Dust” tells the story of the Goodbye family of Nowhere, Okla. After a tornado hits the prison where Jeremiah Goodbye, the notorious Coin-Flip Killer, is in the process of being electrocuted, he is able to survive the brief electrocution and escape. A James Markert once again brilliantly blends together an historical story with a supernatural twist in “What Blooms from Dust.” Taking place during the mid-1930s, when the devastating Dust Bowl hit the midsection of the United States, “What Blooms from Dust” tells the story of the Goodbye family of Nowhere, Okla. After a tornado hits the prison where Jeremiah Goodbye, the notorious Coin-Flip Killer, is in the process of being electrocuted, he is able to survive the brief electrocution and escape. Along the way to finding himself back in Nowhere, he rescues a young boy, Peter Cotton, who is being sold by his mother. Peter is a strange boy who doesn’t speak much for himself, but mimics everything others say — and oddly enough totes around a typewriter. Set on killing his twin brother Josiah, who had turned him into the police for burying four dead bodies, Jeremiah returns to Nowhere with Peter in tow. After being hit repeatedly with one dust storm after another, a massive storm — referred to as Black Sunday — hits, covering the town with much more than just dust. As the town’s residents begin to act strangely — speaking with no filter and then becoming slow, lethargic and numb — Jeremiah and Peter must figure out how to bring the town’s people back from a supernatural haze that could lead to death. As always, Markert does an amazing job digging into and revealing the realness to an historical time period. Readers will feel the panic and heaviness of the dust storms, the dryness from the lack of rain, and the hopelessness and despair from the lack of an end to the storms in sight. “What Blooms from Dust,” besides being a great historical novel with a supernatural twist, is on the most basic level a story of kindness and what can grow from kindness. As mysterious events begin to occur in Nowhere, we see what the power of kindness can lead to — and the change it can bring about. This story also deals with the concept of healing through truth, forgiveness and reconciliation, and the importance and impact of our deeds and actions. This story is also a bit of a suspense as we weave through the plot to determine what is causing the mysterious events to occur. Markert is expert at dropping just enough hints that there’s more than meets the eye, and keeps the reader guessing the truth behind the mystery. Fans of authors like Billy Coffey and Shawn Smucker, or those desiring a clean version of authors like Stephen King, will enjoy this novel. Five stars out of five. Thomas Nelson provided this complimentary copy for my honest, unbiased review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cat

    The Dust Bowl was a terrible time in our history; when I read that this book takes place in the heart of that era, this became a must-read. The author, James Markert, does a fantastic job bringing the characters and hopelessness of those years to life. Josiah and Jeremiah Goodbye grew up in Nowhere, Oklahoma, a town established and built by his father and a group of families who were swindled into thinking they were buying homes in an established town, only to arrive and find absolutely nothing The Dust Bowl was a terrible time in our history; when I read that this book takes place in the heart of that era, this became a must-read. The author, James Markert, does a fantastic job bringing the characters and hopelessness of those years to life. Josiah and Jeremiah Goodbye grew up in Nowhere, Oklahoma, a town established and built by his father and a group of families who were swindled into thinking they were buying homes in an established town, only to arrive and find absolutely nothing but prairies. Their childhood was healthy and normal but Jeremiah soon realized he understood more about peoples’ hearts by simply being around them. This knowledge and his difficulty handling the ugly truth led Josiah to turn his brother in for murder. Sentenced to die in “Old Sparky”, the state’s electric chair, Jeremiah was saved by a twister that came thru just as the electricity started. He escaped, shaken, confused and angry at his brother, and set out for his hometown to settle the score. The town and people he returned to was in a final downward spiral, tired of fighting the dust, lack of food, money, business, and ready to simply sit down and give up. So sets the stage for this story. Colorful characters, some good, some bad, enter for various reasons. Peter, a little boy whose mother is willing to practically give him away to get rid of one more mouth to feed, is quiet and considered “touched”. Still waters run deep, though, and Peter is able to touch these desperate souls in a way no one expected. Rose, the journalist who followed Jeremiah to town, has the knowledge to either make or break him. Ellen, Josiah’s wife, who once loved Jeremiah dearly, is torn between the two men, until she realizes she may be the cause for many of the family’s troubles. Jeremiah can’t control his urge to “flip the coin”, which tends to have grave consequences for those who lose. Josiah, who’s proud, jealous and so tired of struggling, doesn’t appreciate Jeremiah’s cavalier attitude about his criminal history. The entire town is tired, broken, hungry and ready to give up. Is Jeremiah’s arrival going to make or break what’s left of this little, sad town? With clear descriptive details of the effects of the dust storms, particularly Black Sunday, this story is a mix of facts, fiction with a dash of hopeful events. (I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. Thank you to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for making it available.)

  25. 5 out of 5

    Fizzy

    This is the second book about the Dust Bowl I've read in the last 12 months. Honestly, it's the second book about the Dust Bowl that I've read in my entire life. You would think that this is something I would have read about more. I mean, I'm knowledgeable about this time period both from family stories as well as choosing to study the history, but I've not come across a lot of fiction that is specific to this era. I've talked before about my family history of this period in American history her This is the second book about the Dust Bowl I've read in the last 12 months. Honestly, it's the second book about the Dust Bowl that I've read in my entire life. You would think that this is something I would have read about more. I mean, I'm knowledgeable about this time period both from family stories as well as choosing to study the history, but I've not come across a lot of fiction that is specific to this era. I've talked before about my family history of this period in American history here. My Daddy is technically a dust bowl baby born in the summer of '39. I think, from a personal standpoint, this would be difficult time period to incorporate into fiction. I mean there are only so many ways you can describe dust ya know? Both books I've read have been well written and engaging but . . . dust. There's something to be said for an author that can take layers of grit and dust and weave it into a memorable story. However, much like the layers of earth that peeled up to create the dust this story had layers that needed to be peeled up and sometimes I just didn't 'get' it. Some things became clearer over time, sorta like digging out after a duster, but some things remained buried just out of my grasp. Some of this I feel was intentional, because with a story like this there are certain things that I believe should be left to the reader. However, I think some of it was because I was in the middle of a week of chaos that limited reading time and so my take on this story was disjointed. Despite that the story did peel itself up and dust me with completeness. I feel like for a moment in time I lived the dust, felt it's grit on my skin and in my hair. I smelled it's earthiness and staleness. I felt it's despondency. For a brief period of time I was Nowhere, Oklahoma. I really enjoyed this book. It gets into your head and onto your skin. Nowhere, Oklahoma brings out both the good and bad in people. And in life. It doesn't matter that it happened 80 years ago, or yesterday, hard times bring people together or tear them apart. Sometimes, they do both. The Goodbye twins are the perfect reminder that things aren't always as them seem. That second chances are sometimes first chances to make things right. That just because we believe the lies we tell ourselves doesn't make them truth. And through all of this, community is everything. This book has so many layers and you ultimately decide how deep you want to peel them back. The reader decides how much they want to truly invest. And investment is worth if. And reading it again is almost a requirement. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by NetGalley. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review. Originally posted at https://fizzypopcollection.com/what-b....

  26. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Ardoin

    It's best to dive into this novel without any preconceived notions, because it's unlike anything I have ever read. I hesitated to even assign it to one specific genre, because it encompasses more than just simple historical fiction. There are many elements which come together to make this tale wonderful. It's 1935 in the middle of Dust Bowl America: specifically, a tiny town called Nowhere, Oklahoma. The story of how the town got its' name is interesting in itself and a big part of the background It's best to dive into this novel without any preconceived notions, because it's unlike anything I have ever read. I hesitated to even assign it to one specific genre, because it encompasses more than just simple historical fiction. There are many elements which come together to make this tale wonderful. It's 1935 in the middle of Dust Bowl America: specifically, a tiny town called Nowhere, Oklahoma. The story of how the town got its' name is interesting in itself and a big part of the background, but the people of the town are its' heart and soul. Twins Josiah and Jeremiah Goodbye parted ways when Josiah called the police to report his twin for murder. Through a twist of fate or luck, Jeremiah was able to break out of jail while in the electric chair, and make his way back to Nowhere. But the town has more problems than an escaped convict; dust storms have been blowing through daily, the people are starving, and there seems to be no end to the despair everyone feels. Through the return of Jeremiah and the strange, quiet boy he adopted along his journey, the citizens of Nowhere begin to see that there might just be some point to this life. I can't say enough about the characterization of this novel. The town features a wide, offbeat collection of residents, but through the author's fantastically descriptive language, the reader comes to know and form a creative picture in the mind for each one. Jeremiah Goodbye and his family are the main characters, and we get to form a bond with every one of them. It's hard to say what I like about this novel so much without giving away the plot points. The story is at times a tough one to read; you can't help but think about how helpless you would feel if you and your own children were stuck in the same situation. You can't fight the climate, after all. Though the suffering the characters are going through never gets any easier, you can at least tell that they have a sense of hope by the end. And hope is what got so many people through those difficult times.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Higgins

    Beautifully written, yet mysterious novel of the Oklahoma Dust Bowl. Just as the electricity was jolting into Jeremiah Goodbye in the electric chair, a tornado struck the prison freeing him and giving him a second chance at life. Penned as the coin flip killer after being convicted of the death of four men, Jeremiah spent three years in prison awaiting his turn to die. After being released, his Oklahoma no longer looks like it did when he went into prison. With the flip of his coin, he decides to Beautifully written, yet mysterious novel of the Oklahoma Dust Bowl. Just as the electricity was jolting into Jeremiah Goodbye in the electric chair, a tornado struck the prison freeing him and giving him a second chance at life. Penned as the coin flip killer after being convicted of the death of four men, Jeremiah spent three years in prison awaiting his turn to die. After being released, his Oklahoma no longer looks like it did when he went into prison. With the flip of his coin, he decides to return to his hometown of Nowhere to settle a score with his twin brother Josiah. On the way, he rescues a young boy, Peter, being sold to feed a family. Peter tags along with Jeremiah to Nowhere where the dusters have ravaged the town and the spirits of the people. When a huge duster that becomes known Black Sunday hits the town, people start to speak the truth in their hearts, however ugly it may be. Before long, it’s up to Jeremiah and Peter to become unlikely saviors for the town that cast him out three years ago. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up this book, but I enjoyed every minute of it. I’m a huge fan of history of the dust bowl, which may be because I live in the Texas panhandle, so I always read up on it every chance I get. This book was beautifully written and carried a great message to all readers on kindness. The book description made me think that I would be reading more about a mystery, and it was mysterious, but not in the ways that I originally thought it would be. I really enjoyed getting to see the goodness come out of the main character and how it spread through an unlikely boy to all of the townsfolk. It would be easy to give away the secrets of this book, but I would rather have people read it and find them for themselves. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Garrett

    "What Blooms from Dust" by James Markert has a lot of good aspects, but didn't quite fulfill all my expectations for it. I liked the magical realism vibe and the fable-like atmosphere of 1930s Dust Bowl Oklahoma. The set up with runaway Jeremiah and his coin-flip and his twin who hates him and stole his girlfriend, his dad with the bullet lodged in his brain, little Peter with his typewriter--all that was super interesting. If anything, the setup for this story was really cool and got me hooked. "What Blooms from Dust" by James Markert has a lot of good aspects, but didn't quite fulfill all my expectations for it. I liked the magical realism vibe and the fable-like atmosphere of 1930s Dust Bowl Oklahoma. The set up with runaway Jeremiah and his coin-flip and his twin who hates him and stole his girlfriend, his dad with the bullet lodged in his brain, little Peter with his typewriter--all that was super interesting. If anything, the setup for this story was really cool and got me hooked. Then, if felt like somehow it didn't really go anywhere. First of all, it took forever for people to freaking give Peter some paper because it was obvious he was actually typing things on that typewriter and then they could actually talk to him. It was driving me nuts for a while. But beyond that, it just felt like the plot didn't really accomplish much, or at least it got there in a weird, rambling way that didn't have a lot of tension to it. Markert could write really beautifully, but the plot felt like it needed a lot of work to me. Rose showed up kind of late in the game, it felt like, for me to buy her as a love interest and a really involved character in the plot. Also sometimes the magical realism confused me--I wasn't sure when to take things literally or not. Sometimes the world felt realistic and normal, and then all of a sudden something magical happened and I was thrown off. In some ways this might have made a much better short story than a novel, or maybe a novella. It didn't seem to have enough story to justify the length. But I like Markert's concept and his writing, for sure.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bran Pendergrass

    ***I was provided this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley. *** Despair, desolation, and doom in the gloom. That is what comes to mind during the Dust Bowl era of our nation. However, the people who survived during this time were so much more! Enduring, perseverant, and durable. Thankfully James Markert did his research and was able to catch all these elements, both sides of the coin, the rights and the wrongs of the era. Bravo! This tale brings us the story of Jeremiah aka ***I was provided this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley. *** Despair, desolation, and doom in the gloom. That is what comes to mind during the Dust Bowl era of our nation. However, the people who survived during this time were so much more! Enduring, perseverant, and durable. Thankfully James Markert did his research and was able to catch all these elements, both sides of the coin, the rights and the wrongs of the era. Bravo! This tale brings us the story of Jeremiah aka the “Coin-flip Killer” and how he has to adapt to the harsh world outside of prison. A Tornado saves him in the last moments before he was to ride “old sparky” the electric chair. The “dusters” are ravaging the countryside and far more dangerous than a newly freed murder… unless you are Josiah, Jeremiah’s brother, who he has decided to enact his revenge on! The characters are diverse and vibrant. Both good and bad depending on your outlook and the situation. I really loved Peter and the influence that he had over the rest of the characters. They underestimated him, and it was heart warning to see his character growth. Just as I liked how Jeremiah struggles to keep his urges to flip the coin in check. This book is a wickedly addictive tale spun to give facts and fiction light in one of the hardest times our county has ever known. I applaud the author for doing his research and making the story completely believable! I would recommend this book to anyone that loves historical fiction and adept mysteries. Thank you for allowing me access to this title! The thoughts are expressly my own.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tami

    The Grapes of Wrath is the only book I’ve ever read about the dust bowl, so when I picked up this newest book by James Markert, I was prepared to read about a difficult time in history. I was pleasantly surprised to find that in spite of that, the story was uplifting and delivered a powerful message that we all need to be reminded of from time to time. Josiah and Jeremiah Goodbye are twin brothers who were born and raised in Nowhere, Oklahoma. As they reached adulthood, the brothers had grown apa The Grapes of Wrath is the only book I’ve ever read about the dust bowl, so when I picked up this newest book by James Markert, I was prepared to read about a difficult time in history. I was pleasantly surprised to find that in spite of that, the story was uplifting and delivered a powerful message that we all need to be reminded of from time to time. Josiah and Jeremiah Goodbye are twin brothers who were born and raised in Nowhere, Oklahoma. As they reached adulthood, the brothers had grown apart. Jeremiah was in prison for murder and by a quirk of fate, escaped the electric chair and went back home to Nowhere. The story follows what happens when Jeremiah returns home and shows how the townspeople handle the struggles of the dust storms and learn to mend their broken relationships. The message in the story is easy to uncover. Kindness. Kindness breeds kindness. One simple word or deed that all too often people forget when life gets too stressful. Readers who are looking for an enjoyable story, a mix of historical fiction and a bit of fantasy will enjoy this book. It’s a clean read, with no profanity, sex or violence although some is referenced vaguely. Many thanks to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson-FICTION for allowing me to read an advance copy and give my honest review.

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