Review: Days of Little Texas

Posted on September 8, 2009


Days of Little Texas
By R.A. Nelson
Alfred A. Knopf
July 2009
400 pages

He was christened Little Texas when he was 10 years old because of his involvement in a miraculous healing. From then on he was thrust into the role of child prodigy preacher and faith healer for the Church of the Hand, a tent revival operation run by his great aunt, Miss Wanda Joy. Like a rock star he travels from town to town with his entourage, including his manager Miss Wanda Joy, his spiritual coach Sugar Tom, and his personal assistant Certain Certain.

His frail human side is a young man named Ronald Earl. Now, as an almost 16-year old, the two personalities converge in a colossal test of will power. One night in Verbena, Alabama, Little Texas lays his hands on a critically ill young girl named Lucy. She responds enough so that everyone believes she is healed but Ronald Earl senses something is wrong. Tormented by doubt and questions of faith, he is haunted by her image. Because he has never had any friends his own age, an unearthly bond forms between them. His love for her lures him into the murky spiritual realm and a supernatural secret involving the Church of the Hand. In a tent revival to end all tent revivals his two worlds collide in a holy war. 

Days of Little Texas blends the occult and religion to expose long-buried roots of the deep South. Like an old-timey preacher at a tent revival, Nelson pulls readers into this steamy mystery that is part coming of age, part Gothic romance and utterly intriguing. This is an enticing story for all ages.  

Copyright (c) 2009 by Peggy Tibbetts

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