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Angel's Rest

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  449 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
The mountain always looked dark, but the older I got that year, the darker it got. I tried to listen for the music of life that Lacy said is always there if your heart's ready to hear it, but all I heard was quiet.

Growing up in Virginia's Allegheny Mountains, eleven-year-old Charlie York lives at the foot of an endless peak called Angel's Rest, a place his momma told hi

Paperback, 312 pages
Published August 1st 2007 by Mira (first published January 1st 2006)
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S. Lynham
Sep 16, 2015 S. Lynham rated it liked it
I liked this book but sometimes it felt like there was just too much "filler" of the story that meandered off to nowhere and just never really returned; portions of the story that were veiled until it really didn't matter anymore as you had already figured out what had really happened and the character was no longer important to the story line. Perhaps this was intended as the story was written from the point of view of an 11 year old boy but I have read other books with a young storytel ...more
Sep 18, 2011 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
Nice read. I liked the way Charles added lots of dimension to this book. We had the main story in the book which dealt with Charlie and his parents situation and then we had another deep issue of Lacy and the racial situation for Charlie and then we had Hollis which played a sinister role for Charlie. Charlie perfect little word was totally turned upside down for an eleven-year old for which he does not remember parts of which adds the drama- great story line. There were parts in the story that ...more
John Agostino
Feb 10, 2012 John Agostino rated it it was amazing
This debut novel by Charles Davis caught me off guard at first. As an author, I found myself cringing at the misuse of grammar until I realized that Mr. Davis was utilizing the voice and dialect of the region of West Virginia where the story was set.

Once I relaxed and just went with the story flow, I really enjoyed this book. It even brought a tear to my eyes near the end for the unlikeliest of reasons. See if it happens to you!
Alfredo Jara
Apr 22, 2011 Alfredo Jara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 12, 2015 Connie rated it liked it
This was a pretty good book about a little boy having to make sense of things going on around him while he has all the people he knows pulling at him from all sides. All of his friends have left him alone except for one very unlikely one.
Like a match struck in a cold dark room, this southern-noir coming of age story instantly captured my attention: “People said [Hollis] was crazy. He’d come down from Angel’s Rest a couple times a week and folks cleared the sidewalks when he past.” And it was soon made clear Hollis wasn't the only person in the little Virginia mountain town of questionable character with deathly secrets. Charlie’s father had been murdered, his mother spiraling in depression, and it’s 1967, so color and good-old-b ...more
Feb 03, 2016 Beverly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For some reason I love stories that take place in small towns up in the mountains. This story, which starts in Virginia's Allegheny Mountains is no exception. Charlie York is an 11 year old boy who loves the outdoors. He and his friends form a small scout troop and spend lots of time exploring Angel's Peak, which rises above their small town. The one barrier is the scary Korean War veteran, Hollis Thrasher, who lives on Angel's Peak. He is reclusive and despite their trying to steer clear of him ...more
Oct 25, 2007 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This debut novel contains themes of loss, grief, racial prejudice and powerful love. Set in the late 60s in Virginia, USA - the story revolves around 11 year old Charlie York. His life has fallen apart after the death of his father. His father was shot dead in the family home. Charlie was present at the time but cannot remember the details - his mother is arrested for the murder.

This is a convincing picture of Charlie's love for both of his parents and how he struggles to make sense of what is h
Mar 15, 2008 Alex rated it liked it
This book is an easy read in every sense of the word. The prose is simple, the accents are easy (when they aren't flat-out wrong), and I'd figured out the entire plot by the third paragraph (no surprises at all). Despite all these short-comings I almost gave this book five stars and recommended it anyway. Despite knowing where I was going- for the most part I enjoyed the ride. What dragged me back down to three stars (which is 'on the fence' in my rating system) - was the very annoying repetitio ...more
Sally Whitehead
What a wonderful book. For sure, it's not the most brilliantly written book ever, and elements of the plot are somewhat predictable, but it is still wholeheartedly enjoyable and incredibly readable. Comparisons to "To Kill a Mockingbird" are rather over generous, but many of the themes are similar.

The characterisation of the wise old black man, Lacy, is simply yet beautifully crafted and his relationship with our narrator, the troubled and lonely eleven year old Charlie, is really quite moving.

Apr 04, 2008 Robin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This was a goodread. It wasn't so much that it was gripping, but it had many twists and turns in it.
The father (town mayor, loved by all) was killed at home. After investigation, the mother was arrested. It was in the south in the 60's. The mother had a older black friend take care of their 11 year old bay until her trial. The grandfather tries to get custody of Charlie. This was at a time of much social unrest.
Charlie's mother was tried, and found guilty. Her friend from high-school (a reclus
Sep 09, 2007 Alicia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of a young man trying to make sense of the murder of his father, supposedly by his mother. Up until that point life had been more or less idyllic for Charlie York. A loving mother, a respected father who adores him and although not popular, Charlie has a few good friends he can count on.

All that changes after his mother is arrested. Left in the care of an elderly black man in a racist white town, he is tormented by classmates and hounded by adults. After Mr. Lacy is taken out,
Oct 31, 2012 Jenny rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. I think an author has to be really careful in their choice to use incorrect grammar in their writing even if they are trying to convey a certain tone and setting. In this book, it worked and didn't feel forced or contrived. The author's writing style was simple, easy, and enjoyable.

I loved the story of an 11-year-old boy who is confused and goes through many difficult experiences while his mother is on trial for his father's death. I absolutely loved Lacy; he was su
Feb 16, 2009 Mary rated it liked it
Shelves: drama
Eleven year old Charlie lives in the mountains of Virginia in the late sixties and his life has changed dramatically since his father was killed and his mother has been put on trial for murder. Charlie was there when his father was shot, but he simply cannot remember what happened. While his mother awaits her trial in jail, Charlie lives with an old black man whom his father had befriended when Charlie was just a baby. As one might expect, this living arrangement causes some consternation for th ...more
Oct 19, 2010 Dimitra rated it really liked it
This is a story about life, death, prejudice, friendship and love told through the eyes of eleven-year-old Charlie. His mother is on trial for the murder of his father, and Charlie is left in the care of a wise old black man who knows more than he cares to tell about the incident. It is about families and the secrets that exist within every is a moving story as this child tries to comprehend his small world and the changes that are occurring ... I figured out the "secret" before the ...more
JoAnne Pulcino
Apr 05, 2011 JoAnne Pulcino rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction
In his debut novel, Charles Davis weaves a beautiful tale of life, death, prejudice, friendship and love told through the eyes of eleven-year-old Charlie. His mother is on trial for the murder of his father, and Charlie is left in the care of a wise old black man who knows more than he cares to tell about the incident. As Charlie tries to cope with his life tumbling down around him, rumors begin about the reclusive war veteran who may be involved, and racial incidents occur against Charlie's car ...more
Maria V. Snyder
May 07, 2010 Maria V. Snyder rated it really liked it
My latest audio book so this will take a while to listen to as I only listen on long car drives :)

I really liked this book - it's set in the mid-1960s in West Virginia and gives you a good idea of what it was like back then, living in a small rural town. There's a killing and a trail, but the narrator is 11 years old so you don't see the whole picture which really helps add to the suspense. This isn't a kids book even with the young protagonist. The reader did an excellent job with all the voice
Oct 26, 2013 Mindy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult-lit
4.5 stars. Great writing. Good at getting into kids' heads. The main character, a little boy, was probably a little too astute for his age, but this was a heart-wrenching and, I think, fairly realistic portrayal of a damaged family because of a marriage for poor reasons and lack of fidelity. Sickening, at times, but very honest. Nothing graphic, which I appreciated. I do wish the ending hadn't hinted at the idea that the infidelity hadn't been wrong, despite the pain it caused. Other than that,I ...more
Nov 16, 2010 Stacey rated it it was amazing
This book was very gripping, and although I could figure out the direction the story was going before too long, it was still a very good book. Mr. Davis wrote in such a realistic fashion that I had to go back to the acknowledgments at the beginning to verify that the family members mentioned in the book (especially at the end) really did not exist and that the story truly was fictional.
Some may say the storyline is a common one, but as a writer myself, I find there are only so many storylines ou
Nov 12, 2008 Maggie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: YES
This book is wonderful! It is for teens/pre-teens, so it is a very quick read. It is a tear jerker.

I finished this book on the way back to Austin from houston, while Jim was driving. I was crying so hard that he finally said, "I think you should quit reading that book." I personally like books that evoke a lot of emotion. It's not completely depressing. It is very uplifting while it brings up some tough issues.
I could not put this book down. Set in the late 1960's in the Virginia's Allegheny Mountains at the foot of an endless peak called Angel's Rest. Charlie York age eleven lives with his Mom and Dad until one day his life takes a ugly turn by the death of his Father. His Mother is put on trial and he is put into the care of Lacy Coe.
Charles Davis pulls you in on the first page and does not let you go until the last page. Story telling is simple and story captivating. Highly recommend.
May 23, 2010 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: ma-fiction
This story takes place in the moutains of Virginia and is told through the eyes of 11 year old Charlie who is traumatized by his fathers death and the mystery surrounding it. The year is 1967 and while his mother is on trial for murder, Charlie stays with Lacy, a kind and wise old man. As the story unfolds, secrets and past history unfold. I did manage to figure out the twofold mystery early on, but still a great read!
Sep 04, 2007 Emily rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. Not only was it a mystery but it was a coming of age story. Charlie York is an endearing character whose personal growth and inner conflict are developed wonderfully. Usually I can figure out the "twist" in a mystery but this one I most certainly did not, and as a mother i am a little embarassed to admit that. This book won't let you put it down until the very end and when that time comes you won't want to.
Victoria Berkey
Feb 14, 2008 Victoria Berkey rated it really liked it
I just finished it last night. Easy read, about a young boy in a small southern town back in the 60's. His father was "accidentally" shot and killed and it's the story of this young boys struggle to deal with the death of his father, the trial of his mother and racism of the old black man left to care for him.
Calina Benassa
Feb 24, 2016 Calina Benassa rated it it was ok
There were definitely a lot of loose ends throughout the book. The initial idea of Charlie's story was a good one, but the ending was just too abstract and made no sense. Reading from a child's perspective was interesting, but there were too many unimportant patches of rambling by the author to keep me invested in the original story. Honestly, I didn't really like this book.
Audrey Montague
Aug 17, 2014 Audrey Montague rated it it was amazing
excellent read. I could really relate to the characers and their lives. this story has so many underlying themes...grief,loss, maturity, racism, and much more. the ending is such as leaves you thinking of those you met within the pages, and missing them when you read the last sentence. thoroughly enjoyed this emotional, thought provoking book.
Oct 07, 2013 Karla rated it it was ok
Read this for book group, probably would not have picked it up otherwise. At book group we decided it could very well have been a young adult novel. It's about a boy whose mother is arrested for murdering his father, an event the boy apparently witnessed but cannot remember clearly. There is also a big dose of small town evil thrown in.
Aug 29, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
A coming of age book taking place in a very poor Virginia area in 1967. The young hero Charlie does not understand why his mother is jailed on charges that she killed her husband Charlie's father.

This book is a unforgettable tale of a mother's love, segregation, and a modern "Huck Finn".

This book will live in my heart.

May 08, 2012 Lizbuf rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
Loved the style of writing - reminiscent of Harper Lee, simple American. Charlie is a great character and I thought the relationship between him and Lacy was beautifully drawn. Only downside was how sad/angry Charlie's life and the bullying/injustice made me! However, I found the novel captivating and refreshing.
Mar 02, 2008 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I probably never would have chosen to read this book on my own, but I read it for book club. I enjoyed it, though. I got sucked in and had to keep reading to see what happened in the end. I loved the way it was written from the young boy's perspective and I especially loved the sweet relationship that developed between Charlie and Lacy.
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Charles Davis is a former federal law enforcement officer and U.S. Army soldier. In 1999 he moved from the coast of Maine to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, rented a beach house, got a part-time job as construction worker, and began writing his first novel. The author currently lives in New Hampshire with his wife, son and dog, where he's working on a second novel set in the hills and endless b ...more
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“I'd never realized how bad that house needed music until I heard it, I knew right then that big houses need music more than little ones.” 2 likes
“He finally saw the line went up into the big sycamore, gave it a tug and then studied on the whole thing while he toked on his pipe.
"That's exactly where I want it to be" he finally said and he went back to holding his pole like he was doing before, while looking at the creek.
"Up there wrapped around a limb?"
"I guess you ain't heard of squirrel fishing.”
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