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The Moonshiner's Daughter

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  244 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Set in North Carolina in 1960 and brimming with authenticity and grit, The Moonshiner's Daughter evokes the singular life of sixteen-year-old Jessie Sasser, a young woman determined to escape her family's past . . .

Generations of Sassers have made moonshine in the Brushy Mountains of Wilkes County, North Carolina. Their history is recorded in a leather-bound journal that
Paperback, 356 pages
Published December 31st 2019 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
North Carolina, 1959-61: Jessie Sasser, a teen girl, struggles to feel accepted by her family who runs an illicit moonshining business. For a number of reasons, young Jessie refuses to support her family's occupation moonshining. Unpopular, self-conscious, and motherless, she feels shame about her family’s reputation for moonshining and worthlessness about herself. But when harm comes her family’s way, Jessie feels she must decide between her family and her integrity. Will her family's legacy ...more
Norma * Traveling Sister and proud Grandma!!!
Provocative, emotional, & compelling!

THE MOONSHINER’S DAUGHTER by DONNA EVERHART is an engaging, fascinating, gritty, heart-wrenching, and soul-stirring southern historical fiction novel that was such a fabulous, compassionate, and heartfelt story. I was immediately sucked into the storyline and it gripped me right until the very end.

I absolutely love these types of gritty southern fiction tales and absolutely loved that this story was centered around moonshining. I’ve always had this
Angela M
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
At the beginning of the story, there is a flashback to a startling, dramatic event, one that haunts sixteen year old Jessie Sasser, a troubled girl who doesn’t want to be known as a moonshiner’s daughter. She’s frustrated wanting to know more about her mother, looking for remanants, signs, maybe finger prints on a wall perhaps, with little recollection of her mother since she was just four when the accident happened. She doesn’t fit in at school or at home, not wanting to be part of the family ...more
Dec 15, 2019 rated it liked it
It's 1960 and Jesse Sasser is a 16 year old teenager who doesn't fit in. Jesse's family has been running a moonshine business in the Brushy Mountains in North Carolina for years. When Jesse was 4, she witnessed an accident where her Mom was burnt alive after one of the moonshine stills exploded. And that's one of the reasons why Jesse doesn't approve of her family's illegal activities and is thinking of reporting her father and brother to the Revenue.

I've read Donna Everhart's novel The
Donna Everhart
Nov 16, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: my-books
Hello readers,

In a few weeks THE MOONSHINER'S DAUGHTER will populate the shelves of bookstores. I am eager to share this story of a young woman destined to follow her family's tradition, a bootlegging, moonshining clan of individuals who have made their product on Shine Mountain for generations, but when she decides she wants a different life, she unwittingly stirs up old rivalries, and finds herself on a path filled with unlikely discoveries.

Jessie Sasser was truly an interesting character to
Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
Dec 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Everhart's fourth book blew me away. She is a very talented author. Living in NC this made this book even more fun to read. Everhart has done her research and this book was such a fantastic read.
If you have never read a book by Everhart change that soon. She is an author to watch out for. New York Times is on her radar.
I gave this book 4 stars and recommend it.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Moonshiner’s Daughter by Donna Everhart

This is an amazing story set in North Carolina 1960, where a young woman is navigating the loss of her mother, and torn between the morality of her family’s legacy and the money they earn that puts food on their table. When she was only four years old, Jessie Sasser witnessed the death of her mother, burning alive from what she understands to be caused by their family’s Moonshine business. Her father refuses to talk about it.

Her father is convinced that
Coming of age + southern fiction = a new Donna Everhart book! I have read Donna Everhart's previous book and was thrilled to read The Moonshiner's Daughter. Jessie Sasser is the daughter of a moonshiner and witnessed her mother's death at the age of four. She is now 16 and dealing with a serious eating disorder, unpopularity and the fact that she wants more out of life than running 'shine. Donna Everhart is an auto-read author for me! The Moonshiner's Daughter would be a great book club pick!
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was my 250th book for 2019... This was written with such grace... I fell in love with Jessie...would highly recommend this one! Thanks for giving me a chance to read, thank you for the giveaway!
Karen Kay
I received this from for a review.

Generations of Sassers have made moonshine in the Brushy Mountains of Wilkes County, North Carolina. Resenting her father’s insistence that moonshining runs in her veins, Jessie makes a plan to destroy the stills, using their neighbors as scapegoats. Instead, her scheme escalates an old rivalry and reveals long-held grudges.

I liked this story and recommend it to lovers of Southern historical fiction. This would make for a great group or book club
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Donna Everhart has such a gift for giving voice to her characters. This about a teenage girl trying to find her place in the world.
1960s. Sixteen years old Jessie Sasser's family has been making and running moonshine in the hills of North Carolina for generations. Having witnessed her mother's death at the tender age of four, Jessie wants no part in the family business, much to the consternation of her father, uncle and younger brother. No one will talk to Jessie about her mother, leaving her
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jessie Sasser hates what her father does. She hates that their name is associated with moonshine. She hates it all because it’s what killed her mother.

Jessie is determined to stop it all. The late night runs, the stills, the moonshine making. She just wants it to all go away and have her father, her brother, and herself live a normal life. First, she must determine how to stop her father from making the moonshine and make sure the Murry family falls to blame. The rivals of their family.

Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This novel is set in 1960 in N. Wilksboro, NC, the leading area for the making of moonshine in the south. The Sasser family was a major producer and distributor of moonshine during this time. The secrets for making good shine had been passed down from generation and the current family is made up of Easton, his daughter Jessie and son Merritt. Lydia, the wife and mother, had died in an accident while making moonshine twelve years earlier. This is Jessie's story.

Jessie really resonated with me as
Susan Peterson
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“I didn’t want to be known as the moonshiner’s daughter.” How does a young girl reconcile the hate she feels for her family’s business, which she blames for the death of her mother, with the knowledge that it’s the thing that puts food on their table, clothes on their backs—and is her family’s legacy? And what does she do when she realizes that she’s been wrong? Jessie Sasser is only 4 years old when she witnesses her mother’s death. Years later, when she is sixteen, she continues to abhor the ...more
Jessie Sasser was four years old when her Mama died, and she blames her Daddy, Easton, for it. The way she sees it, if her Daddy wasn't obsessed with making moonshine—just like all the Sassers that came before him—her Mama might still be alive. Instead, all she has left of her is the horrifying memory of seeing her engulfed in flames. Making moonshine is in her veins, or so Easton says, and her younger brother Merritt agrees... but they're both wrong. Jessie hates moonshine, and she's come up ...more
ʚϊɞ Shelley ʚϊɞ
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was really looking forward to what Donna Everhart would do after The Forgiving Kind. Wow! The prose is eloquent, easy to read, incredibly well researched, and believable. Ms. Everhart knows her subject matter in her heart and writes in a way to bring her own light to a difficult and complicated story. She truly has a gift for creating her characters and making the reader care about them. From the very first page, I was eager to spend time with Jessie and the rest of the Sasser family. They ...more
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Set in 1960's North Carolina. Jessie Sasser's family has a long legacy of making and running moonshine on Shine Mountain. Seeing her mother die a horrific death when she was very young has Jessie dead set against the family business. It leaves her with many questions about her mother and a eating disorder. Running shine isn't easy, even with Sally Sue a rocket of a car. Mayhem,rivalry and the revenuers takes it's toll on this family leaving Jessie with a choice to make about her family legacy. I ...more
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate to win this ARC, that said go buy it or borrow it as soon as available. I highly reccommend it. Was a great book.
Set in North Carolina, early 60' s 16 y.o. Jessie Sasser is the main character. She grows up in a moonshine family. Her mother dies in a fire when she is 4 and her brother is two. Her memories of that day color her preception of the family business. Her father refuses to speak about her mama and what happened that day. As the story goes on and Jessie experiences more
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
WOW! I'm an avid historical fiction reader, and I think I've found a book that's destined to be a Goodreads Historical Fiction Book of the Year. The Moonshiner's Daughter by Donna Everhart is outstanding!

For many years I lived in Wilkes County, NC, the setting of The Moonshiner's Daughter, and heard stories about bootlegging in the 1960's. Although the stories were interesting, none of them ever captured my attention the way this book did.

Jessie Sasser is a young girl when she witnesses the
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Moonshiner’s Daughter by Donna Everhart is an all-encompassing Southern Historical Fiction novel that is one of those once in a blue moon novels that only comes around once in a while that makes one stop and think, like actually contemplate life. This novel is amazing.

We see Jessie Sasser a 16 y/o misunderstood teenager growing up in the rural foothills of NC in 1960 with her collection of outcast family members whom all work in the “family business” of moonshine and her life over the next
Kelly Cantwell
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"The only memory I have of Mama, she was on fire."

Those words from main character Jessie Sasser, recalling when she - at only four years of age - watched her mother catch fire and burn to death, immediately pulled me into Donna Everhart's latest novel The Moonshiner's Daughter. Set in Wilkes County, North Carolina, during the late 1950's/early 1960's, this is the story of Jessie and the moonshine business her family has run for generations. Despite the family history and certainly blaming an
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Set in the 1960s of North Carolina, Jessie Sasser comes from a line of moonshiners and moonshining essentially runs through their veins. When Jessie was four years old, she watched her mother burn to death from an accident with the stills. Her father refuses to discuss what happened. Now Jessie is torn with the tradition and stake her family has in moonshine business and the profits that put food on their table.

This story is an incredible coming of age story that is raw and full of grit. I
Savanna (savbeebooks)
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
[Thank you to the publisher for the gifted copy of this book]

𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘔𝘰𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘳'𝘴 𝘋𝘢𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘦𝘳 didn't disappoint. I loved this book. A family drama with a lot of baggage from the past and the present.

Jessie Sasser is a sixteen year old girl living in the Brushy Mountains of North Carolina with her dad and brother. The Sassers are known for their moonshining, however has some competition with their rivalries.

Jessie wants to know more about how her mama died back when she was young, knowing it has
Miss W Book Reviews
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Moonshiner’s Daughter is an incredible, poignant heartfelt novel that hooked me from page one.

The time period is the 1950's and 1960's which takes place up in the Mountains of South Carolina.

The research that the author put into this novel is extraordinary and I learned about the history of moonshine in this area.

The characters are complicated, complex and well fleshed out. The story will break your heart and give you faith in the human spirit all at the same time. I appreciate the themes
Serena Soape
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
“The Moonshiner’s Daughter” grabbed me from the very beginning and did not let go.

The characters were interesting and well written.

There were a few surprises in the story that caught me off guard. The end had me gaping open-mouthed..... literally !!!!!

Historical Fiction is not my typical genre, but I have to say I’m glad I took this book for a whirl!

I definitely recommend this book by Donna Everhart! Hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I did.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher
Kathy Bond
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! Wonderfully written. I started this book and couldn’t put it down. Donna Everhart is a master of coming of age, southern literature.
Janet Smith
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Donna Everhart never disappoints. This is a heartbreaking story of 16 year old, Jessie Sasser and her relationships with her father, brother, food and moonshine. I absolutely love this author!
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Many thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for the advance copy of The Moonshiner’s Daughter.

Jessie Sasser’s family has been making the finest moonshine around for generations. As she struggles with this legacy, she’s growing up without the benefit of her mama who was taken by that legacy. Powerless to stop the family business, she tries to distance herself from it. The Moonshiner’s Daughter tests where the bar of honesty is for each character, and it’s set where each can accept what they do
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley
This could very well be the best book of the year! I could not put it down. The writing is so beautifully expressive. You are there experiencing and seeing it are at the stills, multiple fires, fights, moonshine runs, tears and happiness. A different type read and so factual you learn about another way of life. Can't say how much I loved this book!
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really like how this author expresses southern fiction and doesn’t dress it up but tells it like it is. A lot in this book is hard to read but it’s the way many have lived and did their best to get by and squeak out a living. My heart hurt for Jesse and how she just wanted to know about her mother. I like how the eating disorder was addressed. Most don’t realize these things happen in any part of society. I agree with others who say this would make a good book club book. So much going on to ...more
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Donna Everhart is a USA Today bestselling author who writes stories of family hardship and troubled times in a bygone south. Her debut, THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE was an IndieNext Pick, Business Insider's Pick, Library Journal Top Pick, and long listed for the Southern Book Prize. Her second novel, THE ROAD TO BITTERSWEET was a Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Okra Pick. She is the ...more