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The Angels' Share

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  234 ratings  ·  85 reviews
“Folksy charm, an undercurrent of menace, and an aura of hope permeate this ultimately inspirational tale.” —Booklist

From award-winning author James Markert comes a Southern tale of fathers and sons, young romance, revenge and redemption, and the mystery of miracles.

Now that Prohibition has ended, what the townspeople of Twisted Tree, Kentucky, need most is the revival of
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 17th 2017 by Thomas Nelson
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Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  234 ratings  ·  85 reviews

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Feb 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
I greatly enjoy when a novel educates and The Angels' Share delivered on that score. The education began with the title which references the evaporation that occurs with bourbon and is said to be given to angels for protection of the distillery. In the process of reading, I looked up around 7-8 words in the dictionary. Some examples are cooper (a person who makes casks or barrels), jake (o.k. or fine) and bindle (possessions of a hobo).

Another positive aspect of the novel is the setting. The sto
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Bourbon and the Potter Field Christ

Willie McFee grows up in Twisted Tree, Kentucky. His family is relatively well off, although the town is suffering the effects of having the bourbon distillery, owned by the McFee family, shut down by Prohibition.

Although Prohibition is over, Barley, Willie’s father shows no interest in reopening the distillery. Willie encourages him dreaming of becoming the distiller as his grandfather planned. Then a drifter comes to town. He dies and is buried in the Potter
Sharon Chance
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Author James Markert's captivating novel, "Angels' Share," grabbed my attention in the bookstore first with it's appealing cover (I like a good looking book cover!). The description too was fascinating, and I'm so glad that I went ahead and picked it up to read.

This story, set just after Prohibition was lifted, pulls you into the lives of the McFee family of Twisted Tree, Kentucky, Once prominent maker of one of the best bourbons around, the family had fallen on hard times with the closure of t
Jan 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: historical
I can't in all good conscious give this read any more than one star. Despite the fact that James Markert seems talented in his writing skills. I found this book at Lifeway Christian Bookstore on the bargain isle and while I was hoping for something different I wasn't looking for something so utterly disturbing and unbiblical. I'm shocked it's being sold as Christian fiction. Where will the line be drawn? ...more
Margaret Sholders
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a very busy story. It surprised me as I thought it was a different story. This is more like a jigsaw puzzle. Once you start reading it is hard to stop. It starts with WW I. Then there was the big Depression and Prohibition. This is when it turns to be a very Graphic book. This was how it worked back then. Now we have the evangelists travelling to push their religion. This is a rough racist time and here comes the KKK. Barley has a distillery that is shut down. Asher shows up and seems to ...more
Ruth Woodman York
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
I received a copy of this book in a giveaway on Goodreads, with the expectation of an honest review. It was a good historical fiction about a family in the 1930's, who owned a non-functioning distillery, who were also hiding their own secrets. The book started out catching my attention, and didn't let up. Many stories intertwined, but it didn't seem overdone. Nice writing, and now, I want to take a road trip and visit a bourbon distillery, and smell the angel's share for myself. ...more
James Markert
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Might as well start this party off! I really liked this book; in fact, I loved it! But then again, I wrote it, sooooo, there you go. I hope everyone likes reading it as much as I liked writing it.
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Some books grab you from the first page and never let go. Others take their time, gradually revealing themselves as the pages pass. Books in the first camp all too often flame out, while books in the second camp sometimes never seem to get anywhere.

"Angels' Share," the second novel by James Markert ("A White Wind Blew"), patiently takes its time, gradually assembling its pieces until they are ready to move. And the result is a bittersweet tale of family, secrets, loss and joy wrapped around the
Angela Bycroft
Apr 01, 2017 rated it liked it
The Angels’ Share was both an interesting book and a challenge for me to read. Set during the end of prohibition - it is a time in American history I didn’t know very well. The small town of twisted tree sets the seen for a gritty and dark tale of clandestine distilleries and the making of bourbon.

When a passing drifter is buried in an aptly named ‘Potter’s Field’, crowds begin to flock determined to witness a miracle by praying at his grave. We see the story form William McFee’s eyes - as he a
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
William McFee has yet to make anything of himself, though he works on becoming a reporter while secretly dreaming of re-opening the family distillery that used to be the lifeblood of the town of Twisted Tree, Kentucky.

The story takes us on a journey through a pivotal time in William's life, as his father's past comes to light. And that journey includes so much - first kisses, gangsters, guns, bums and saints, murder and miracles.

Highly recommended, particularly for readers with an appreciation
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Some bruises take longer to surface, . . . . .and some are so deep they never come up."

Death changed William McFee's family. His grandfather, the brew master of their infamous Old Sam Bourbon distillery, hung himself with the onset of the Prohibition. Further tragedy occurred when William's four year old brother died in a head-on collision, he was a passenger in the car that his father Barley was driving. After the loss of young Henry, the McFee family became a mere shadow of its former self.
Mar 25, 2020 rated it liked it
The history was interesting: bourbon distilling, Prohibition, the Klan, mobsters. The family was disfunctional but understandable. The religious mysticism and miracles was undeveloped and a real distraction.
Jalynn Patterson
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
About the Book:

Some believed he was the second coming of Christ. William wasn’t so sure. But when that drifter was buried next to the family distillery, everything changed.

Now that Prohibition has ended, what the townspeople of Twisted Tree, Kentucky, need most is the revival of the Old Sam Bourbon distillery. But William McFee knows it’ll take a miracle to convince his father, Barley, to once more fill his family’s aging house with barrels full of bourbon.

When a drifter recently buried near the
Susan Snodgrass
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is published by Thomas Nelson, a Christian publishing company; however, this book is not a Christian fiction book. It's not an offensive book, though, and quite interesting. I will warn you that there is a good bit of violence here. Set in 1934, prohibition is over and there is still a lot of unsettled business between some former gangs. Thus, the violence.

The townspeople of Twisted Tree, Kentucky need a revival of the Old Sam Bourbon distillery. But William McFee knows it will take a
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Angel' Share Is a book I did not think I would want to read when I first receive it from the publisher. I was not impressed with the cover at all. Well, that is what happens when a reader judges a book by it's cover! I am so glad I force myself to read it. Within the first ten pages, I was hooked, this is such a great book! I highly recommend it!
5 stars.
I received this book from the publisher, but was not required to write a review. My review is of my opinion.
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'll be honest, I'm a little disappointed the bad guy is fictionalized. I really hoped he was a real gangster.
This was an interesting look at post-prohibition Kentucky and the distillery world. I am not that familiar with the bourbon process, but now I want to go on a tour! There is a mystical element, but it flows with the story and never overpowers the story.
This is a great look at the prohibition and great depression era.
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The intriguing characters and storyline kept me interested from beginning to end. I felt like I was there, as a fly on the wall, witnessing the events as they happened. I can see The Angels' Share used as a read aloud in a US History class, and I think it would be interesting to compare and contrast it with The Education of Little Tree. I also think it would make a great movie.

I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.
Deana Dick
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I wasn't really sure about this book at first. I felt kinda lost and wasn't understanding what the book was about. I'm glad I kept going because slowly the author starts to develop characters that come alive. I loved the history behind prohibition and the era it was set in. In the woods of Kentucky lies distilleries. The people are glad that prohibition is over and they are ready to crank up the distillery again. Now who is going to run it?

Can you imagine running a distillery to pay bills, put f
Gail Hollingsworth
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was not a typical book that I would normally pick up and read on my own and it was a little hard to get into at first. But once I started reading, after a couple of chapters it drew me in. Prohibition was over, the depression had set in and there were homeless everywhere. Jobs were few and far between. The McFee's were faring pretty well because of the father's illegal activity during prohibition. They were all suffering the loss of the youngest brother, Henry age four, in an automobile acc ...more
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 stars-
“The Angels’ Share” takes place in Kentucky during the Depression. It tells the story of the McFee family and their struggles during this time. James Markert did an amazing job of bringing the 1930’s to life. His style of writing, the time period appropriate language and just the overall tone and feel of the book really made you feel as though you were a part of the Great Depression and that time period. Reading this book made me realize just how much had transpired by the mid-1930’s a
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-guild
I read The Angels' Share months ago, and the story stays with me. The title refers to the evaporation that occurs with bourbon and is said to be given to angels for protection of the distillery. I learned a lot about distilleries and about the role of the Mafia during Prohibition, as well as the Ku Klux Klan and their hold on the South.

The story is set in 1934 Twisted Tree, Kentucky, during the Great Depression and just after Prohibition ended. The events that happened and the descriptions that
Oct 11, 2017 rated it liked it
This book isn't the typical type of story that I would read. I found it both interesting and difficult to read. At one point I even considered not finishing the book. I kept on reading though and slowly my interest in the story grew.

I liked most of the characters in the book yet I never really felt connected to any of them. I did enjoy the budding relationship between William and Polly, one of Asher Keating's followers. One of the most interesting parts of the story was discovering who Asher Ke
Sara Miller
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a touching coming of age story with a message all played out against the backdrop of a richly detailed time of American history.

William is the oldest son in the McFee's when we pick up the story their family is still reeling from a family tragedy and we see each member of the family just barely making it through the day in different ways. But once a drifter that has a following is buried in the Potter's field next to their house, miraculous events begin happening and somehow all these
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed this book as it was different. It is set in 1930's Kentucky and tells the story of the McFee family who own a bourbon distillery that suffered during Prohibition and The Depression. It also has another story running through it of a drifter that is buried in the Potter's Field on their property and some people believe he is the second coming of Christ. This isn't exactly historical fiction but much of the distillery story could be considered so as it details events as they occ ...more
Janka H.
Bourbon and the second coming of Christ.

Yeah, sounds like a strange combination of what too much alcohol can do to the human's brain. Yet...there is more to this book. Even if the topics are handled with a tad heavy pen and the skills that needs polishing, there definitely is a talent for story, a vivid imagination and the drive towards the unexplainable. And the gangsters, mysteries, pretty women and men being men.
I'd say that this is novel for those who like Southern fiction. Author Billy Co
Sara Wise
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
** “Something spiritual is happening. We can’t rightfully deny people. Belief in something … is a powerful thing. Especially now. Black clouds are raging across the plains. … Crime lords and mob bosses are filling each other with holes.” **

James Markert’s novel “The Angels’ Share” asks an interesting question — what if Jesus came back to Earth?

It’s 1934 and William McFee has two dreams: to become a top notch reporter and to become a master distiller while reopening his family’s bourbon distiller
Debi Lantzer Stout
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received the book, The Angels' Share by James Markert because I'm a Fiction Guild Elite Reader book review blogger. It wouldn't be my normal book genre if I were out shopping for a book, but nonetheless, it was worth a read.

The Angels' Share is a historical novel that is true to the times of the Prohibition and the Depression. William "Willie" McFee grew up in Twisted Tree, Kentucky. The McFee family is pretty well off financially even though the town itself is suffering the effects of the McF
Sarah Raymer
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My Louisville Book Babes Book Club just finished "The Angels' Share" by James Markert. We were delighted that the author took time out of his busy schedule to join us for our discussion. Consensus is we all loved this book. We had so much to talk about and so many questions to ask the author. Thank goodness he was there. James's ability to create interesting and complex characters.......some you have to learn to love.......but most you do, transported us all back to a time in America and most im ...more
The McFee family is somehow still doing well, mom buying new dresses and never scraping by for food, despite the distillery being closed up, and everyone else is scrounging. How can that be? Well, someone hid away some cabbage (i.e. money) but that isn’t the focus of the book. What is, well the distillery is making a comeback, and the town of Twisted Tree is about to get back on it’s feet.

What also has improved the situation is this itinerant man who seemed to cure people, miracles they say. An
Lloyd Holm
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
James Markert has delivered another satisfying and well-crafted novel filled with themes of love, revenge, and redemption. The Angels' Share captures one immediately and doesn’t let go until the very last page, if even then. The characters are skillfully developed and seem so real, the reader will no doubt think of them long after the book is passed on to a friend. The author’s ability set a scene with perfect similes (… as lush as Kentucky grass after a spring rain …) punctuate this wonderful s ...more
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James Markert is a novelist, screenwriter, producer, and USPTA tennis pro from Louisville, Kentucky, where he lives with his wife and two children. He has a history degree from the University of Louisville. He won an IPPY Award for The Requiem Rose, which later became A White Wind Blew. He is the writer and co-producer of the new feature film and tennis comedy, 2nd Serve, starring Josh Hopkins fro ...more

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