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What Blooms from Dust

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  389 ratings  ·  143 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
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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Bookworm Extraordinaire
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing


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
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
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! ...more
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
What Blooms From Dust? Kindness. This well-written book places the reader in the Dust Bowl (Nowhere, Oklahoma) in the mid-1930s. Daily dust storms are sapping the town of hope and energy and despair is on the rise when Jeremiah Goodbye returns home. Convicted of killing four men and turned in by his twin brother Josiah, a freak storm saves him during his electrocution. Dubbed the Coin-Flip Killer, he rescues a young Peter Cotton (and his typewriter), who is being sold by his own mother, on his w ...more
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
What Blooms From Dust is a combination of historical and supernatural. The novel is set in Oklahoma in the mid 1930s. The author does a phenomenal job of painting the bleak and exhausting setting of dust storm after dust storm. I felt the heaviness of the time as I turned the pages.

The main character Jeremiah barely escapes Old Sparky at what was to be the end of his time in prison. He returns to his hometown of Nowhere, Oklahoma and his past slowly comes to light. My favorite character in the s
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
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wish-list
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
Aug 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyable!
Recommended for 12+
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
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
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow, one of my favorites of the year! This is the first novel I've ever read that takes place during the dust bowl, so that in itself made this an compelling read. The author's descriptions of the conditions make you feel like you're there. The air feels thick and you can almost see the dust motes swirling in the air and coating your lashes and clothing. Not only was the setting very vivid and memorable - the characters were as well. I just loved the main character of Jeremiah Goodbye, a convict ...more
Review to come
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
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
What Blooms from Dust is an unlikely combination historical/supernatural mix that the author actually manages to pull off very well. In fact, it was one of my favorite reads of 2018 for a variety of reasons.
Jeremiah Goodbye is set to be executed but is given a "reprieve" by an act of God; a tornado tears down the prison walls giving Jeremiah the chance to escape and start again. Along the way to settling a score with his twin brother, Jeremiah encounters a young boy and together they set off to
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
Michelle Kidwell
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing

What Blooms from Dust
A Novel
by James Markert
Thomas Nelson--FICTION
Thomas Nelson
General Fiction (Adult) , Historical Fiction
Pub Date 26 Jun 2018
I 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 ...more
Shelby Kollin
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
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
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've been hearing about this author for a while and I've had two of his books in my possession for as long, so I figured it was time to give his stories a try. I'm sure glad I did. What Blooms From Dust is one of those rare books that combines historical, fictional, and spiritual elements seamlessly. It was easy to get caught up in the story of the Goodbye family in Nowhere, Oklahoma in the middle of the Dust Bowl. I loved the setting, which is a time and place I'm not familiar with, and the spi ...more
Jennifer S
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book!

Set in Nowhere, Oklahoma in the midst of the Dust Bowl (1935), we really get transported to what it must have felt like to be ground down by the relentless drought and dust storms. The community is slowly giving up hope when Jeremiah Goodbye returns home after escaping the electric chair. On his way home, he accidentally gains a traveling companion - a 9-year-old boy who seems simple-minded but is a keen observer of human nature. When the town is at its deepest point, Jeremiah an
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
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).
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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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