All Things Bright and Strange by James Markert

All Things Bright and Strange

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 ...

Details All Things Bright and Strange

TitleAll Things Bright and Strange
Release DateJan 30th, 2018
PublisherThomas Nelson
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Christian, Magical Realism

Reviews All Things Bright and Strange

  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
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  • Paul Falk
    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 t...
  • ☆Dani☆ ☆Touch My Spine Book Reviews☆
    I highly enjoyed this read! Not only is it based it South Carolina and I am a South Carolinian, it was very mysterious and sinister! I loved the way the characters interacted with each other and the overall characterisation. The only thing I wish was a tad different was it was slow in the beginning. I loved the mixed elements of this story as well. The mystery was highly enjoyable, making this book a suspenseful ride I am glad I didn’t miss out...
  • Lily S.
    It was honestly very difficult to give this book a 2.5star rating (rounded up to 3) because it started from a solid 5 yet somehow things went wrong along the way.The premise is very intriguing; a mysterious chapel in the woods lures people in from the nearby town with making them able to hear the voices of their dead loved ones. Yet as people go more and more they start to change for the worse so we can suspect the working of some kind of evil. T...
  • Karen
    I received this from 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. ...
  • Caroline
    I received this book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalleyThe 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 ye...
  • Tracey
    I'm not going to try to knock out a synopsis of this book. There's a lot, and it's both complicated and very simple; there are holes in the plot, and predictability, but also genuine creepy horror elements and interesting characterization. Note: If you're a Yankee like myself, it may help you in reading this book to know that Hoppin’ John is a dish made with black-eyed peas, smoked ham, and rice. Sounds good. Now that you know the details, you ...
  • Vikki P
    I received an e-ARC of All Things Bright and Strange by James Markert from NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for an honest review.PLOTWith a stunning plot and a really ethereal feel to the writing, All Things Bright and Strange really aces it in the writing aspect. The first thing that struck me as interesting about the book was that it really made me understand the effect of war on people, as it is set in a time of wars. Don’t get me wr...
  • Rebecca
    4.5"It was as good a day to die as any."Ellsworth Newberry has lost his desire to live; he lost one of his legs in the war, he lost his beautiful wife in a town tragedy before he enlisted, and now he is contemplating losing his soul with the simple click of a trigger. But it wasn't meant to be. Strange things are happening in the small town of Bellhaven, South Carolina and they all revolve around a chapel; a chapel deep within woods rumored to be...
  • Yvonne (It's All About Books)
    Finished reading: February 28th 2018 "The beauty of the Bellhaven woods was like a desert mirage - an optical phenomenon inviting trouble, an illusion of light rays that disguised the truth."*** I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. *** (view spoiler)[There is just something about the cover that immediately intrigued me, and this book has be...
  • Pamela
    I'm not sure what to say about All Things Bright and Strange that wouldn't sound uber critical. Sometimes it's best to simply say "It's not my cup of tea," and leave it be.Then again . . . STRANGE, in the vein of quirky or fantastical or eccentrically bizarre can be quite entertaining and fun. I enjoy a fanciful romp into the weird zone, from time to time. But the STRANGENESS of this novel is more in line with what I call an octopus story: An ove...
  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    via my blog:“This town is different. You’ll be welcomed here.”Black and white alike, side by side, dancing together- can it be? Can Bellhaven truly be real? Ellsworth is prepared to die, ravaged by the war, broken by the loss of his wife, why shouldn’t he end things with his Smith & Wesson? Anne Belle Roper won’t let him, it seems, bringing him breakfast and the care he needs. Ellsworth is too youn...
  • Scarlett
    Um, definitely not what I was expecting from this book at all. All Things Bright and Strange feels like it has a thousand characters and about the same number of elaborated back-stories. That is why I feel this book was struggling to reach cohesion and well-rounded message. Is it a mystery? A thriller? A religious, mythical satire? I don't know and I really didn't care in the end. I didn't feel like there was any point to the story and don't get...
  • Susan Snodgrass
    "It was as good a day to die as any. But first Ellsworth Newberry would have his morning cup of joe."Bellhaven, South Carolina. 1920. Ellsworth Newberry lost a leg in World War I, but that wasn't all he lost. He has lost his will to live. His wife is dead, as is their stillborn infant and he just sees no valid reason to live. But somehow he always stops before eating a bullet. Ellsworth realizes slowly that things are changing in his small hometo...
  • Sara Wise
    ** “How can we fight what we can’t see?” **Wow, just wow! That’s what I have to say about the brilliantly amazing “All Things Bright and Strange” by James Markert. Taking place mostly in 1920, Markert’s latest novel is part historical fiction, part Southern fiction, and part supernatural and paranormal storytelling at its best.Strange things are happening in the small South Carolina town of Bellhaven. Everything, and I mean everythi...
  • Chrissie
    An interesting stab at mixing the supernatural with a religious foundation, All Things Bright and Strange is a little uneven but still enjoyable. I do find that the label of 'Christian Fiction' is a little misleading (and based on some reviews on Amazon, I see that other people feel the same way) because that label generally applies to the types of books where someone is grappling with some internal conflict and, through their Christian beliefs, ...
  • Tami
    I was attracted to the premise of James Markert’s new novel and it turned out to be much more than I expected. In fact, it’s a novel of biblical proportions.The main character, Michael Ellsworth Newberry, has just returned home to Bellhaven from WWI, with one less leg and a load of guilt and heartache. He is still grieving the death of his wife and the loss of his lifelong friend, Calvin.Ellsworth is at a crucially low point in his life, when...
  • Jennifer
    3 1/2 stars- The jury is still out on my final thoughts of this book. I loved Frank Perretti’s books but otherwise have not read a lot of supernatural stories such as this. I loved the setting in 1920. WWI had recently ended and life was still returning to a form of normalcy for many vets and their families in the US. The author does such an amazing job of transporting you to the story’s time period. It is so fun to read the dialogue and the ...
  • Louise Marley
    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 peopl...
  • Ashley
    All Things Bright and Strange by James Markert was exactly what the title says, all things bright and strange. When first reading I didn't expect to come to love the residents of Bellhaven as much as I did. There were so many broken characters I was sure I wouldn't get to see each of their journeys. I was sure I was going to be depressed and bogged down with so much detail. That wasn't the case, at all. I loved this book so much. After the first ...
  • Lael Braday
    All Things Bright and Strange by James MarkertMichael 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 ...
  • Grace O'Brien
    Suspend your disbelief and enjoy the beautiful story telling in this historical fiction combined with the supernatural. We meet the citizens of Bellhaven, several of whom have returned to America from world war one with physical and psychological scars and injuries. The seemingly idyllic town has a hidden and troubling mystery lying in the depth of the woods.The characters were quirky and varied, I found myself egging on Ellsworth as the story bu...
  • James Markert
    I liked this book so much I read it about 10 times! But as the author, it was probably necessary! Holding true to form, I hurried to leave the first review. I hope everyone likes reading it as much as I liked writing it. And I thank everyone for the support! Cheers!
  • Eoui
    I was given a copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review. This is a story about Ellsworth who returns home after losing his wife and being injured in the war. He's coping only just and with a new neighbor moving in and longtime one growing old, something starts happening in the woods. There is a church hidden deep among the trees, visiting it grants peace of mind and brightened spirits, but is it as benevolent as it seems? St...
  • Sarah
    All Things Bright and StrangeBy James MarkertPublished by Thomas NelsonE-Book ARC// I received this ARC from #netgalley in exchange for an honest review //All Things Bright and Strange follows the story of Michael Ellsworth Newberry, who goes by Ellsworth, who's life is strange to say the least. He has survived things that no one could imagine and that make no sense. After the death of his wife and the loss of his leg, Ellsworth has lived a grump...
  • Vishaka Rajan
    I went into this novel with absolutely no idea on how I would feel about it. I emerged from it thinking that it was quite an interesting read.I really liked the premise of this book and the way events unfolded in this town. The story is told entirely from Ellsworth's point of view, and he is quite a character. I think the author tries really hard to make him complex, but at times, it was a bit forced. Nevertheless, I was intrigued by Ellsworth an...
  • Chie
    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...
  • Joan
    Review of Advance Reader’s CopyAfter losing a leg in the First World War, Ellsworth Newberry returns to his home in the quiet town of Bellhaven, South Carolina. But he still mourns the loss of his wife in a tragic fire, his wartime experiences have left him shell-shocked, and he’s seriously considering ending his life.However, the town of Bellhaven is changing, and the cardinals have returned.The discovery of a small chapel deep in the woods ...
  • Annette Jordan
    A highly original and very engaging tale set in the aftermath of the first world war. Bellhaven is a small Southern town, but unlike so many others it seems to be a place of tolerance and empathy, however the woods which surround it may not be so benign, For years the townsfolk have been wary, and do not venture too far into these woods and stories of strange voices abound, but now something is changing, and its up to returned soldier Michael Ell...