Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Prodigal - Michael Hurley

The Prodigal
Today, I am excited to be a part of my third tour with TLC Book Tours. Previously, they brought Visiting Tom and Fiesta of Smoke to my bookshelf and your screens. I love how book tours bring variety to what I'm reading. The Prodigal by Michael Hurley was no exception.

There's that old adage that you cannot judge a book by its cover. When joining a book tour, the cover is all you really have to go by. The cover art and the blurb that lands on the back cover. You make your decision based on that. That and the reviews and ratings of other Goodreads readers. 

I think it's only fair that you see what drew me in, so here is the blurb that I saw about The Prodigal:
Pride, betrayal, forgiveness . . . and the eternal sea.  The Prodigal tells the mystical tale of four people on Ocracoke Island whose destiny is tied to an abandoned schooner, thought to have been lost at sea more than a century ago, that one day drifts ashore.  Marcus O'Reilly, a renegade Catholic priest, must confront his inner demons.  Ibrahim Joseph, a Bahamian fugitive, must face his past.  Aidan Sharpe, a fallen lawyer, struggles with self-doubt and his growing affection for Molly McGregor, a fearless towboat captain who cannot find the courage to love.  They will all be drawn into a 2,000-year-old mystery that unfolds with the reappearance of the ship.
The book starts out with the story of a gyspy princess running away with her boyfriend one hundred and fifty years before present day. That prologue ensnared my attention. From there, the book took a much different path than I expected. Hurley wrote a character driven story. The real action does not start until around the halfway mark.

Hurley crafted the book well. His voice is unique and enjoyable. He obviously cares about the craft of words, a skill I think has been lost in many modern authors. He has a depth that is often missing. He weaves conscious and faith into the story seamlessly. Of course, it certainly helps to have a priest playing a prominent role.

Michael Hurley
Father Marcus gets some great lines as well. As he counsels Aidan he says, "...a man has no greater or lesser need for faith in darkness than in light. A blind mind who knows he is lost is still lost, but he is closer to the truth than the lost man who believes he can see."  Then, later, during the climactic sailboat race, he pontificates on God's intervention, saying, "It is a malady unique to priests...that they are called to search and pray and yearn for God in faith for so long that they scarcely recognize Him when He shows up."  I love those lines because they simply could not be more true.

I really enjoyed The Prodigal. It is not a book that you sit down and read all at once. You must take it chapter by chapter and truly digest its intricacies and the paths of the characters. It's a book for people who like people, not people who like explosions. 

If you are interested in checking it out, I highly recommend thinking fast! Hurley has graciously lowered the price of the e-book to only $0.99. This offer lasts for the duration of the book tour only. I am the last stop on the book tour, so today is the day!  
Pages: 358
Date Completed: November 9, 2013

*to read others' thoughts on The Prodigal, check out the full tour schedule.*


  1. I absolutely love your review--not just because it was complimentary, but because you nailed what others sometimes miss. "It's a book for people who like people, not people who like explosions." The best line yet, hands down. Thank you. --Michael Hurley

    1. Thank YOU for your kind words and for writing a book worth reading!

  2. HI Alise! I'm Lisa with TLC. I'd love to talk to you about some other books we have coming up on tour but can't locate your contact info. Would you email me at Thanks!

  3. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. Thanks for being a part of the tour!