For 2,000 years, Christendom has believed that faith and penitence are the narrow gates through which all who seek heaven must pass, and that the church on Earth holds the key. What if a forgotten relic and an abandoned ship thought to have been lost at sea more than a century ago suddenly reappeared to cast doubt on that belief? Who would seek to use it? Who would seek to destroy it? And whose lives would it forever change?
Four troubled residents of Ocracoke Island find their destiny and the answers to these questions in The Prodigal, the debut novel by Michael Hurley that Kirkus calls “stirring, romantic and evocative of the sea’s magic.” Marcus O’Reilly, a renegade and alcoholic 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 mystery as old as Calvary that unfolds with the reappearance of the ship.
Praise for The Prodigal
“Stirring, romantic and evocative of the sea’s magic.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A masterpiece of artistic imagination.” —ForeWord Clarion Reviews (5 stars)
“A glorious, satisfying read that overnight leapt onto this constant reader’s personal ‘Top 5 of 2013’ list.” —BookTrib (5 stars)
Finalist, 2013 BookBundlz Book Club Pick contest
Michael Hurley lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife Susan. Together they have four children ranging in age from 19 to 23. Born in Baltimore in 1958, Michael studied English at the University of Maryland and law at St. Louis University. He was licensed to practice law in Texas in 1984 and North Carolina in 1993. He is the senior attorney in a small defense firm in Raleigh and has been recognized in North Carolina Super Lawyers each year since that recognition was begun in 2006.*
A lifelong sailor, Michael obtained his captain’s license from the U.S. Coast Guard in 1992 and, while waiting to receive his North Carolina law license, took six months off from the practice of law to work as a sailboat charter captain in New Bern. Between 1995 and 2003, while practicing law full-time, he also wrote and published Paddle & Portage, a quarterly literary journal on wilderness canoeing enjoyed by more than 10,000 subscribers in 48 states. When he is not sailing or writing or canoeing, Michael continues a hopeless quest to prove that his piano teachers at Baltimore’s Peabody Institute were wrong about him all along.
*(Selection criteria at www.superlawyers.com.)
Connect with Michael on Facebook.
Michael’s Tour Stops
Friday, October 11th: Peppermint PhD
Monday, October 14th: she treads softly
Tuesday, October 15th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Monday, October 21st: Time 2 Read
Tuesday, October 22nd: 5 Minutes For Books
Wednesday, October 23rd: Stacy’s Books
Monday, October 28th: Amy’s Book-et List
Tuesday, October 29th: The Reader’s Hollow
Friday, November 1st: BoundbyWords
Wednesday, November 6th: Andrew Smith’s Blog
Thursday, November 7th: Literally Jen
Thursday, November 14th: Read. Write. Repeat.