Set in the Great Depression, a boy begins to question his and his father’s illicit lifestyle brewing moonshine in the Tennessee wilderness and finds himself facing not only vengeful gangsters and a corrupt sheriff, but also the possibility of losing his Pa.
To keep food on the table during the Great Depression, thirteen-year-old Cub helps his widower father illegally distill and sell moonshine, despite Prohibition. However, their relaxed business is interrupted when a gangster named Salvatore arrives and offers a once-in-a-lifetime distribution deal to Cub’s father. Eager for a safer lifestyle, Cub decides to interfere with the gangster’s negotiations and end the deal. However, this broken arrangement backfires, forcing Cub to make some business decisions before things turn deadly. In this coming-of-age historical adventure by a debut author, Cub must race against time to not only save his father’s life, but also their future.
★ ”The smooth writing and… distinct narrative voice make this debut novel compelling from the start. Benton’s spot-on description of the sparse mountain setting with its social isolation and desperate poverty draw readers into the corrupt, complex times of the Great Depression. Though these elements are grim, they are balanced by strong themes of family and trust. When combined with the tense, realistic plot, a gripping piece of historical fiction emerges.” — Booklist, starred review
“Smooth, lyrical writing and crisp regional dialogue are the strengths of this debut. Benton knows his landscape… and should be a strong voice for the future… a fine adventure.” — Kirkus Reviews