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What Blooms from Dust

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  196 Ratings  ·  104 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 337 pages
Published June 26th 2018 by Thomas Nelson (first published June 2018)
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Eve Recinella (Between The Bookends)


description 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
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
Rose (Traveling Sister)
4.5 stars for this dramatic Dust Bowl-era fable that isn't getting nearly as much attention as it deserves!

"This dirt was different than the other dusters, like the wind had been dormant for centuries - dirt mixed with the blood and bones from all those buffaloes and Indians killed in order for the white men to take over the land."

I first came across What Blooms from Dust on NetGalley, but it wasn't available for request anymore at the time, so I just added it to my TBR. Then, serendipitously, i
James Markert
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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!
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first picked up this book, I wasn't expecting this to become one of my favourite reads of the year. I was just hoping it'd be decent, but then I was sucked right in and taken on a crazy adventure.

What Blooms From Dust is a perfect example of why everyone should read out of their comfort zone once in a while. I rarely go for historical fiction, so I wasn't sure about this book at first, but it hooked me right from the get-go and absolutely loved every moment of it.

The characters were stun
Oct 03, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a strange book. There’s no getting away from it, and it might not be for everybody, but it’s one you should read nonetheless- especially if you like your fantasy with a slice of American goodness.

What Blooms From Dust is set in Nowhere: a town slowly choking in the dustbowl of 1930s America. And it gets a shock when Jeremiah Goodbye returns: convicted of killing six men, Jeremiah is back to set things right.

This story is really beautifully written. There’s no getting away from it. It’s l
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)
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
With a hints of magical mysteries, James Markert’s What Blooms From Dust, brings the Dust Bowl alive in a unique and intriguing way. The characters, the small town of Nowhere, the mysterious happenings, and the redemption of a city all make for a story that kept me hook and connected to each of the characters.

I admit, every book I read on the Dust Bowl makes we want to drink 10 gallons of water and shower 57 times, but that’s the sign of a good book. The vivid details bring to life a part of hi
Paulina (aspiringliterati)
A death row convict escapes his electric chair fate when prison walls are hit with an enormous tornado. Sensibly or not, he sets out on a journey back to his hometown to settle old scores because a coin flip (save that bit for later for coin flipping is crucial here!) says he should.

James Markert’s ‘What Blooms From Dust’ is almost fable-like. At least it bears all the characteristics of one as it is borderline fantastical. There are elements of the story that obviously couldn’t have occurred i
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
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-books, reviewed
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
Katy (Katyslibrary)
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked 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
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
Weirdly fantastical and imaginative, historical fiction of an allegorical/metaphorical nature. Not steampunk, but along the same genre blurring lines where historical comes across as contemporary, and fiction reads like fantasy, and with a big sweeping cast of characters - Dust being the big one.

I didn't love it. Nor do I hate it. I guess I'm just not the right audience: too fantastically 'out there' for my tastes. Akin to Markert's previous novel: All things Bright and Strange. Strange being th
Jun 22, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Rosanne Lortz
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
When a tornado knocks down the wall of a prison, Jeremiah Goodbye (also known as the Coin-Flip Killer) gets a startling reprieve from the electric chair. Setting out for his hometown of Nowhere, Oklahoma, he’s determined to put a bullet in the twin brother who turned him in to the authorities. But when “Black Sunday,” the worst dust storm in three years of dust storms, overtakes the town, Jeremiah starts to soften toward the people who’ve given up on life. With the help of an orphan boy named Pe ...more
Kelly Bridgewater
Aug 20, 2018 rated it liked it
What Blooms From Dust is my second attempt at reading a James Markert novel. The writing is top notch. Markert does a fabulous job at inviting the readers into the setting and allowing me to feel the dust as it blows across the plain and encompasses everything. I have heard about the Great Dust Bowl of the thirties out in the Great Plains, but this is the second novel that I have read that actually used it as a powerful character. The characters of Jeremiah and Josiah are as different as night a ...more
Shelby Kollin
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
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
Michelle Kidwell
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Susan Snodgrass
May 29, 2018 rated it liked it
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
Jul 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Elizabeth (Literary Hoarders)
I read this treasure in 2 days. Adored every word, and every character. Am now looking up other novels by this author, because his writing is the perfect split of kindness and magic. This is such a beautiful book that I’ll have to have a copy of my own (the one in my hand is from the library).
Carrie Coe
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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!
Gillion Machota
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
I received a copy of this book from the publisher. Opinions shared are mine.

Fiction is my escape from the world; I prefer stories that are generally happy. What Blooms From Dust is a noteworthy exception. Though it’s missing the rainbows and sunshine of most contemporary novels, this one is full of symbolism and beautiful imagery. It’s a treasure in words.

As with Markert’s book The Angel’s Share, the characters in What Blooms From Dust would likely be overlooked in more refined stories. I love
Denice Barker
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing

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
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars for What Blooms from Dust. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t good, either.

Right off the bat there was a red flag to be found in the “Acclaim for James Markert” pages. Some of the acclaim was what you might expect to find, such as, “‘Markert’s unusual story line and compelling characters offer a fresh perspective. Verdict: Readers looking for lighter horror will enjoy.’ —Library Journal starred review of All Things Bright and Strange.” Nothing wrong there. But then I found some q
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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