All Things Bright and Strange

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Mar 2018

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Michael Ellsworth Newberry’s life has been miraculously spared multiple times throughout his life. In his hometown of Bellhaven, South Carolina, he is the unofficial leader of the unusually diverse, small town, Southern community. He has lost his wife to the town hall fire after her rescue of a young black child sought by Klansman, who set the fire. He has lost his leg to World War I, where he also lost his best friend and any chance at the Big Leagues as a pitcher. Left bereft and wallowing in self-pity, Ellsworth is the last of the townfolk to receive the forgiveness and peace offered by lost loves in the mysterious chapel in the woods, the same woods that the children of Bellhaven had...

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I'm a huge fan of any fantastical stuff related to forests, so the premise of this book sounded awesome to me. Unfortunately, I found the execution to be fairly disappointing.

My biggest issue with this book was the treatment of Ellsworth, the main character. I found him to be very unsympathetic throughout the entire book, yet the narrative continually tried to frame him as some kind of amazing hero, when in reality he did very little, and the changes his character did go through felt unearned. The only character I liked was Gabriel, and even then, she deserved better than how the narrative (and Ellsworth) treated her. In general, the treatment of the female characters in this book...

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It took me a while to decide how I would rate this novel. All Things Bright and Strange is a story set in Bellhaven, a small town in the Southern United States, known for its tolerance and peace between different religions and races. But since the war, things haven't been the same. Then one day a small chapel is found in the woods, and it brings peace and comfort to the townspeople - but something is not quite right about it, and supernatural forces escape through cracks into the natural world, causing tensions and destruction.
First of all, I had a deep disliking for the main character, Ellsworth, for about half of the book. He was unnecessarily rude, especially to Anna Belle...

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I found the story difficult to follow and really get into for me, and I struggled to get through it. I like the idea a lot,  but I don’t love how it was executed.
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I had to DnF this book. It was boring and took too long to get to the point, if there was a point. From what I read, it wasn't as spectacular as I thought. Very disappointed with this read :(. I had such high hopes for it too!
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All Things Bright and Strange is an apt title for this book, maybe add beautiful. I love the idea of this town, Bellhaven, which broken down would mean beautiful safe place. Its a small southern town where they embrace differences in culture, religion and race which is not all that remarkable except it set in the mid 1900s where even though slavery was abolished Jim Crowd laws were strongly upheld.

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100 years ago doesn’t seem that long ago in hind site and the feel of this story makes it feel just like yesterday. If I were alive at the time this was set I would have hoped to live in a place like Bellhaven, minus the fight against evil that is. James...

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I love historical fiction, so I was excited about this book because I find WWI and the great depression to be very interesting time periods. I loved that this book had an interesting twist that was staring me right in the face and I missed it! I did have a hard time keeping track of all the characters and sometimes found myself going back to figure out who was who. I would've liked a little more in depth knowledge of the woods, and how things happened to be the way they were. This was an enjoyable read, and it kept me interested in finding out where it was going.
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3.5 stars

“This town is different, you’ll be welcome here.”

Indeed it is different. Bellhaven is a peaceful town considered to be a melting pot – where people of different religions and race live together in harmony. They sing, dance, eat, and play instruments together. Little did they know that a walk in the woods and discovering a mysterious chapel deep in it will change the life of each town folk.

Ellsworth Newberry is ready to die. He lost his wife and lost one of his limbs and friends in the war. One bullet is all that he needs for his threatening and scary dreams to be gone. But, he is the bedrock of the town and his people need him the most now.

Words spread about the...

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I received this from netgalley.com in exchange for a review. 

Ellsworth Newberry is the unofficial leader of a small, southern town of Bellhaven, South Carolina. But having returned from war disabled, he just wants to hide in his house and forget the world. Then they find a mysterious chapel in the woods and evil 'comes in all forms'.

The story was all over the place, choppy and difficult to follow. I couldn't get a grasp on any of the characters. 

2.5 ☆
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James Markert serenaded me with the vernacular of country folk of the Deep South. Post World War 1. Enter the days of prohibition and bootlegging. Words danced off their lips with a Southern Charm that filled me with a longing for the times. The prose flowed across the pages like a gentle stream. It held me mesmerized. I was alive and kickin' in the quiet town of Bellhaven, South Carolina. Kindly pass the bowl of hoppin' John. Mighty glad to be there. From the outset, the characters were exquisitely drawn in striking detail. What an uplifting pleasure.

World War 1 veteran Ellsworth Newberry returned to his hometown. Bellhaven. Anyway, most of him did. His left leg remained in...

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A good and charming book that starts slowly and grows on the reader. Once you get involved you have to go on reading til the end.
More magic realism than fantasy, its characters are described in depth and really interesting.
Recommended!
Four stars because of the really slow beginning, it is good to build the tension but it was a bit too much
Many thanks to Thomas Nelson and Netgalley
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The blurb for this novel sounded really interesting, but somehow it fell flat for me. I really liked the first part of the book where the tension slowly builds up (it actually reminded me little of "Needful Things") but during the second part it just kind of fell apart for me. The big finale was underwhelming after all the great build up in the first half of the novel and the revelation about the main characters just didn't engage me, to be honest.

Overall, this novel has a great setup but only a mediocre followthrough.
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All Thing Bright and Strange, a novel by James Market, lives up to its title. This apocryphal tale takes the reader to the Deep South at the end of World War 1. Ellsworth Newberry has the end of his life all figured out, a single bullet to his head should do the trick. He went to war when he lost his beloved wife, and lost his leg in the war. Now he has nothing left to live for.

Until he notices a cardinal on his windowsill. The captivating characters of Bellhaven, South Carolina help being Ellsworth out of his depression as they turn to him to find answers to the strange happenings around town. Flowers blooming out of season, flocks of birds hovering and forming shapes in the sky, and a...

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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free digital ARC of this book. This book is true to its title description. The reader won't be disappointed when reading this book.
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I'm usually a fan of good fantasy but this one didn't do it for me.  The basic premise is good but I wasn't attached to any of the characters and as a result didn't invest enough attention in the story.
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I wanted to like this book but I could just not get in to it. It seems very choppy in the writing style. 
I definitely think there was possibility in the story line but it was lacking for me.
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I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher -
Description
In the wake of World War I in the small, Southern town of Bellhaven, South Carolina, the town folk believe they’ve found a little slice of heaven in a mysterious chapel in the woods. But they soon realize that evil can come in the most beautiful of forms.
The people of Bellhaven have always looked to Ellsworth Newberry for guidance, but after losing his wife and his future as a professional pitcher, he is moments away from testing his mortality once and for all. Until he finally takes notice of the changes in his town . . . and the...

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I chose this book because I liked the look of the cover, I thought the title was clever and the story sounded a little bit different.

All Things Bright and Strange opens in 1917. Despite the differences in race and religion, the people of Bellhaven have always got along with each other. But then a group of men wearing white robes and carrying flaming torches track a young black boy, Raphael, to the town and set fire to the town hall. Several people are killed, including Eliza Newberry, the wife of Michael Elsworth Newberry.

Three years later and Elsworth is still grieving for Eliza. He lost his leg during the war, along with his best friend, and is still suffering from PTSD. He's...

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Thank you Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I was really interested in this book because I saw that many compared it to Stephen King's Needful Things and I am a big fan.  But this book was extremely slow and dull for me.  I almost DNF but I sat it aside for a bit and started on another book and came back to it and slowly finished it.  There were bits and pieces of the book that I enjoyed but it was really rough for me.  Stephen King it is NOT.
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The town of Bellhaven is damaged.

Ellsworth, mentally and physically ruined by his experiences fighting on the frontline, is going to take his own life.
Along with his ragtag couple of friends, Alvin and Omar, who were also injured during the war, Ellsworth lives a sad existence. Cooped up in his house he used to share with his very beloved wife, Eliza, who died in a fire a few years ago, Elsworth is drinking himself into a stupor in the hope he will forget. Ellsworth is haunted by both Eliza’s death and the horrors he saw on the frontline which he cannot erase from his memory and constantly haunt him in his everyday life. After the initial prologue, the book picks up with Ellsworth...

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