"The work of a young writer with tremendous ambition, a bildungsroman of religion and revolution set during an obscure chapter of American history." --The
A powerful and impressive debut novel from the winner of the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival Prize for fiction--first in the Woolsack family saga that continues with Secessia
and The New Inheritors
.The Blood of Heaven
is the story of Angel Woolsack, a preacher's son, who flees the hardscrabble life of his itinerant father, falls in with a charismatic highwayman, then settles with his adopted brothers on the rough frontier of West Florida, where American settlers are carving their place out of lands held by the Spaniards and the French. The novel moves from the bordellos of Natchez, where Angel meets his love Red Kate to the Mississippi River plantations, where the brutal system of slave labor is creating fantastic wealth along with terrible suffering, and finally to the back rooms of New Orleans among schemers, dreamers, and would-be revolutionaries plotting to break away from the young United States and create a new country under the leadership of the renegade founding father Aaron Burr.The Blood of Heaven
is a remarkable portrait of a young man seizing his place in a violent new world, a moving love story, and a vivid tale of ambition and political machinations that brilliantly captures the energy and wildness of a young America where anything was possible. It is a startling debut.
"Wascom is a craftsman, and each of his lengthy, winding sentences shimmers with the tang of blood and bone and sweat, and the archaic splendor of his language." --The Boston Globe