Tuesday, January 14, 2014

February Book Club Book- Field of Dead Horses by Nick Allen Brown


Small Town...Big Secret. Georgetown, Kentucky, 1939…soon after dawn on a February morning, Elliott Chapel discovers an unconscious, bloodied, young woman lying face up in the cold waters of Penny Creek. Days later, awakening from her hypothermic coma, Ellie Evans finds herself on the Chapel Farm. Once she explains her plight as the abused wife of a powerful man, Elliott offers her and her son a place to stay and vows to keep them from harm. For both Ellie and Elliott, life under the same roof is a challenge—with the cantankerous Paul Chapel, Elliott’s father who spends his retirement days drinking whiskey with his aging coonhound by his side. Elliott has taken over the daily operations of the horse farm with his assistant, Booley. Unusual for the time—when blacks were subservient to whites—Booley manages a small staff and helps Elliott attempt the impossible with the newly-acquired horse of a high profile client. Ellie pitches in and helps out when she can and helps change the mood of the busy farm with her sweet charm and culinary skills, even getting on the good side of the bad tempered Paul Chapel. Just when daily life settles into an enjoyable rhythm, a violent struggle erupts when the malicious Mayor Evans descends on the farm with the county sheriff and two deputies. Armed with shotguns, they remove Ellie and her son from the farm, against her will. Narrated by Elliott five decades later, he recalls the incident on the Chapel Farm and subsequent events which ultimately reveal the long-kept secret—hidden in a small town since 1939.