Review: The Moonshiner’s Daughter

The Moonshiner's Daughter


Publisher’s Weekly STARRED REVIEW
Southern Literary Review January 2020 Book of the Month
Goodreads Most Popular Releases for December 2019
MaryJane’sFarm Book Club Pick
SheReads Most Anticipated Women’s Fiction 2020
Southern Lady Book Club Pick for February

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 belongs to Jessie Sasser’s daddy, but Jessie wants no part of it. As far as she’s concerned, moonshine caused her mother’s death a dozen years ago.

Her father refuses to speak about her mama, or about the day she died. But Jessie has a gnawing hunger for the truth–one that compels her to seek comfort in food. Yet all her self-destructive behavior seems to do is feed what her school’s gruff but compassionate nurse describes as the “monster” inside Jessie.

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. As she endeavors to right wrongs old and new, Jessie’s loyalties will bring her to unexpected revelations about her family, her strengths–and a legacy that may provide her with the answers she has been longing for. 

Rating: 5-stars


Inside this beautifully written novel, I found there are just some things we cannot run from at all. Family and and family businesses are a legacy that are just as much part of who are as we are part of them. The younger generations pass it forward to others. Here, I met a young lady who is all for rebellion against her daddy and the family’s moonshine business. It was illegal back then. But that doesn’t stop the father doing it nor pressing her daughter into continuing the business. Her mother died and Jessie wants to know the answers. But her daddy refuses to talk about it. Thus, pushing a wide gap between them. Jessie fills up on anger and hurt. But as the story progresses and she learns more, she will either take on what is her legacy or run from it altogether. I was amazed by this story. It was engaging from the start. The characters were believable. I felt transported into their world. The emotionally charged story hooked me. I cried at the ending. Donna Everhart wrote an unforgettable story with stunning characters that were just as mesmerizing. Overall, I recommend reading The Moonshiner’s Daughter.

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