Serpent Box

Vincent Louis Carrella, Author
Vincent Louis Carrella, Author . Harper Perennial $14.95 (462p) ISBN 978-0-06-112626-0
Reviewed on: 12/24/2007
Release date: 02/01/2008
Ebook - 496 pages - 978-0-06-175150-9
Open Ebook - 496 pages - 978-0-06-158030-7
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 496 pages - 978-0-06-158032-1
Ebook - 496 pages - 978-0-06-158034-5
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In his lyrical if somewhat scattered debut, Carrella paints a vivid picture of a family struggling to survive and retain their faith in Depression-era Tennessee. Though his wife, Rebecca, is days away from giving birth, Pentecostal preacher Charles Flint feels the call of God and embarks for Slaughter Mountain, the site of a legendary Pentecostal church. Charles is gone when Rebecca, caught in the woods during a thunderstorm, gives birth to Jacob inside an ancient tree. Born deformed, Jacob is a quiet, pensive child, but as he grows up, Charles becomes convinced that Jacob is imbued with the Holy Spirit. When Jacob turns 10 and survives a bite from one of the snakes Charles uses when preaching, Charles decides to return to Slaughter Mountain, where Jacob can help spread the word. But when the Flints’ faith is shaken by a tragedy, Jacob must decide how to both carry on his father’s dream and protect his family. Despite an abundance of gorgeously rendered scenes, the narrative begins to lose steam midway through the book. With an atmosphere richer than its heroes, this first effort intrigues but does not wholly satisfy. (Feb.)

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