ONE OF THE WASHINGTON POST'S BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR • The dark, gripping tale of a 1930’s family in the remote hills of the Smoky Mountains, their secret religion, and the daughter who turns her back on their mysterious god—from the acclaimed author of Spoonbenders.
“Gods and moonshine in the Great Depression, written with a tenderness and brutality … this is as good as novels get.” —Stephen Graham Jones, author of The Only Good Indians
In 1933, nine-year-old Stella is left in the care of her grandmother, Motty, in the backwoods of Tennessee. The mountains are home to dangerous secrets, and soon after she arrives, Stella wanders into a dark cavern where she encounters the family's personal god, an entity known as the Ghostdaddy.
Years later, after a tragic incident that caused her to flee, Stella—now a professional bootlegger—returns for Motty's funeral, and to check on the mysterious ten-year-old girl named Sunny that Motty adopted. Sunny appears innocent enough, but she is more powerful than Stella could imagine—and she’s a direct link to Stella's buried past and her family's destructive faith.
Haunting and wholly engrossing, summoning mesmerizing voices and giving shape to the dark, Revelator is a southern gothic tale for the ages.
Shirley Jackson Award winner Gregory (We Are All Completely Fine) spins an addictive tale of historical horror, set alternately in 1936 and 1948 in Tennessee's Smoky Mountains, where bootlegger Stella Wallace communes with Ghostdaddy, "the God in the Mountain." Stella comes from a line of Birch women who were deemed Revelators due to their ability to communicate with this god. But after she discovers the god's true intentions and learns how the Revelators before her have died, she runs away from home, determined not to meet the same fate. Twelve years later, her grandmother, Motty, is found dead, and Stella must return to finish what she started as a child and fulfill her family's destiny. The mystery surrounding Ghostdaddy is slow to build and initially disorienting, but as the narrative toggles between Stella's childhood and her present day, and the truth about Stella's family and their folk religion unfolds, Gregory ratches up the tension in stunning prose, and the book goes from frustratingly opaque to un-put-downable. Readers who stick with this are in for a thrilling ride.)\n