June 2013 Indie Next List
“Bloody and brilliant, this epic novel is not for the faint of heart. At once a page-turning, cinematic adventure, tearing through the oft-forgotten wilds of 19th century West Florida and a poetic masterpiece in which each sentence stretches and works at full capacity, The Blood of Heaven explores the intersection of religion, redemption, brotherhood, violence, love, and what it meant to come of age at the same time as America. Wascom rages onto the literary scene in this passionate and powerful debut.”
— Alise Hamilton, Andover Bookstore, Andover, MA
The Blood of Heaven is the story of Angel Woolsack, a preacher's son, who flees the hardscrabble life of his itinerant father, falls in with a charismatic highwayman, then settles with his adopted brothers on the rough frontier of West Florida, where American settlers are carving their place out of lands held by the Spaniards and the French. The novel moves from the bordellos of Natchez, where Angel meets his love Red Kate to the Mississippi River plantations, where the brutal system of slave labor is creating fantastic wealth along with terrible suffering, and finally to the back rooms of New Orleans among schemers, dreamers, and would-be revolutionaries plotting to break away from the young United States and create a new country under the leadership of the renegade founding father Aaron Burr. The Blood of Heaven is a remarkable portrait of a young man seizing his place in a violent new world, a moving love story, and a vivid tale of ambition and political machinations that brilliantly captures the energy and wildness of a young America where anything was possible. It is a startling debut.
About the Author
Kent Wascom was born in New Orleans in 1986, and spent his childhood in Louisiana and Pensacola, Florida. He attended Louisiana State University and received his MFA from Florida State University. In 2012, he won the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival Prize for fiction, judged by Amy Hempel. Wascom lives in Tallahassee, Florida. The Blood of Heaven is his first novel.