Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Moonshiner's Daughter” as Want to Read:
The Moonshiner's Daughter
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Moonshiner's Daughter

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  57 ratings  ·  37 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, 368 pages
Expected publication: December 31st 2019 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Moonshiner's Daughter, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Moonshiner's Daughter

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  57 ratings  ·  37 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Moonshiner's Daughter
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
Donna Everhart
Nov 16, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
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
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
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
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 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
Gina  Clabo
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
First I would like to think Donna Everhart and Kensington Publishing Corp for allowing me to read this book as it was a Goodreads giveaway. I have to say I feel like Jessie in this book as in not liking being a part of a Moonshining family because I live in what I feel like a moonshining town. Everywhere you turn there is moonshine in your face if not in stores, restaurants, downtown shine making and it just keeps popping up everywhere so sick of seeing it and hearing about it... What North ...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
Carla Suto
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
THE MOONSHINER’S DAUGHTER by Donna Everhart is a beautifully-written and compelling work of Southern fiction set in the mountains of Wilkes County, North Carolina in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Sixteen-year-old Jessie Sasser struggles for acceptance in her family and her community and has turned to food as her only source of comfort. When she was only 4-years-old, Jessie witnessed the death of her mother in an accident that seemed to be a result of her parents’ moonshine business. Although ...more
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have to be honest and say this probably would not have been one of my first choices in books if I had not won it from the publisher. That said, I really enjoyed it! As I started the book, I had to check a couple of times to see what year it was supposed to take place in. It seemed to me that moonshine was primarily something widely produced during prohibition and the depression, rather than 1960. It was interesting to learn about the culture and life in this part of the country in 1960. It ...more
Patricia Romero
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Welcome to the Bushy Mountains in North Carolina. The Sasser family has been making shine for generations, along with quite a few other folks. It's a dangerous and deadly job. But it's the only thing most of them know.

Set in 1960, this is the story of Jessie Sasser. A girl who blames moonshine for her mothers' death when she was a small child. Her memories of that day aren't clear on much except her mother was stirring the still and then her mother was dead.

Her daddy won't talk about her mother
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I won this giveaway and would like to thank Kensington (publisher) and Donna Everhart.

My, my, this book was certainly not what I expected. I thought it would be a hootin', hollerin', hillbilly hoedown about moonshining and avoiding the law. And it was definitely a story about moonshining and avoiding the law. It was also a beautifully and thoughtfully written, emotional tale of a family beset with the problems of alcohol abuse and, surprisingly, (or maybe not so surprisingly) an eating
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 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I won a copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway, for which I'd like to thank the publishing company (Kensington) and the author.

Let me begin by saying that this book has a number of triggers - alcohol abuse, physical abuse, and an eating disorder. I liked that the author included a note about why she chose to include an eating disorder - along with information to help those with eating disorders.

I can see this book as an interesting book club discussion book. Many topics are discussed in
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
"The only memory I have of Mama, she was on fire." Thus begins the first person account of Jessie Sasser, an "angsty" teenager who comes from a multi-generational family of moonshiners in North Carolina. She's not a bit happy about that. She doesn't want to spend her life the way her daddy and brother have, running from the law and the competition. The question is, what can she do about it, if anything? I was riveted from that first jarring sentence. And by the end of that chapter, I was hooked. ...more
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jessie Sasser is the main character in this well written historical fiction novel.
Taking place in the mountains of North Carolina, Jessie and her family have long made their living in the "moonshine" business.
Jessie absolutely despises this. Why?
Her mama died when Jessie was four and all that she can recall is that her death was caused by this awful illegal line of work at the stills.
When she asks her dad, he refuses to talk about her mother or give her any answers about her death.
The "need
Phyllis Jones Pisanelli
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“The Moonshiner’s Daughter” by Donna Everhart was a fabulous novel! When I started this book, I wasn’t sure I was going to like it and then about 10% into it,I couldn’t put it down. It grabbed me and sucked me right into that rollercoaster of a story. Oh my goodness you just have to go along for the ride.

I wanted to hug Jessie Sasser. She was a girl who thought she knew what she stood for and fought for her convictions with all of her might. I was right there rooting for her through the whole
Nov 10, 2019 rated it liked it
When I started reading this book I wasn’t sure if I would be able to finish it. It was depressing and sad and I wasn’t sure which of the disastrous maladies would actually what made me put it down. Jessie’s family is dirt poor, she sees her Mother die when she is only 4 years old and her Father comes from a long line of moonshiners. Jessie’s life is rough from the get-go. At times it seems as running moonshine is the least of the families worries. That’s one reason why I gave the book only three ...more
Carol Deegan
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
This somewhat sad story is about Jessie Sasser, a member of a family that’s been making and hauling moonshine for generations. When she was 4 years old, she watched her mother die from burns she received when working at a still. Her father won’t tell her anything about her mother or her death, which adds to the mystery. She feels like she doesn’t fit in anywhere, and develops an eating disorder. Although this book is fiction it made me think about what the families of moonshiners went through ...more
Nov 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Thanks to the author for this book that I won on her FB page.

I really enjoyed this book set in 1960 with moonshine, bootlegging and a family without a mother due to an accident. Jessie really doesn't remember much about her mother who was killed when Jessie was 4 and her brother 2. Her father refuses to talk about it. She also has other problems in her life that Mrs. Brewster, the school nurse understands and tries to help her. When their father is incarcerated for bootlegging, Mrs. Brewster
Cindy Bokma
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Donna Everhart is one of my favorite authors- when I see a book with her name on it, I KNOW it's going to be excellent and this was lived up to my expectations. I read it in one day!

I was hooked by the story of Jessie, literally a moonshiner's daughter, who struggles with the mystery surrounding her mother's death, she has an eating disorder, and she feels like she doesn't fit in anywhere. Add to that her hatred and shame of her father's moonshining and the misguided way she deals with her
Carolyn Stumpf
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Donna Everhart knows how to weave such compelling stories! I absolutely loved The Moonshiner’s Daughter.

Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

I am rating this book 5 stars! I found the female lead, Jessie Sasser so incredibly interesting as a character. Her perspective on making moonshine, her family’s business, was so dynamic and I was constantly wondering which decision she would make in regards to making shine.

I find Everhart’s writing style so descriptive and beautiful,
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
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
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
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that addresses eating disorders like this one did.Treated with sensitivity and complete with the background of why Jessie is bulimic.
Her mother dies when she was young and her father would not talk about her.He is a moonshiner and Jessie hates it.She decides to destroy his stills.
It’s not a very happy book but it is one of those rare books that stays in your mind for days.
Beautifully written coming of age story.
Thankyou Netgalley for this ARC
Sue Fernandez
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Net Galley and Kensington Books for an e-ARC of this title in exchange for my honest review. I really loved this book. I love historical fiction, and this is an area that interests me, but I hadn't really read about. You take the childhood memories of a traumatic event that sometimes don't tell the whole story. You take a young woman who sees things in black and white, where life is often grey. This was so interesting and I enjoyed it a great deal.
Michelle Coblentz
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don't know where to start. You feel for 16 year old Jesse. Growing up with anger, resentment, and embarrassment. Controlling her feelings the only way she can. Learning the truth and coming to terms with it. I would definitely recommend this book.
I received this ARC from Goodreads in exchange for a honest review.
Burma Turner
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow, when I start a book by Donna Everhart, I know I am in for a treat. I loved everything about this book. The characters were so real and the story was wonderful. I will be thinking about Jessie Sasser for a long time. The ending was perfect, but so very sad. I will be telling everyone to read this book!
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Big Lies in a Small Town
  • True to Me
  • Life on Loan
  • The Secret Messenger
  • Stay
  • The King's Justice (Maggie Hope Mystery #9)
  • The Patient
  • Wildflower Hope (The Wildflower House #2)
  • The Second Chance Supper Club
  • The Magic of the Season (Christmas in Silver Falls #2)
  • The Wife and the Widow
  • Wildflower Christmas (The Wildflower House #3)
  • The Light in the Hallway
  • This Is Not How It Ends
  • Emily, Gone
  • Mistletoe at the Lakeside Resort (Lakeside Resort #3)
  • The Body: A Guide for Occupants
  • The Art of Remembering
See similar books…
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