When his well-to-do physician-father dies, James Thorwait discovers an old, back-room contract indicating that he is, in fact, an adopted child, whose parentage includes a mother named Allie Morelock, from far-back in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Having grown-up in the rarified atmosphere of the well-born of Roalton, Tennessee, Thorwait must now confront the fact of his birth-mother’s Appalachian heritage—and he goes in search of her, and her meaning.
Establishing contact with a small newspaper publisher in Glade, North Carolina, Thorwait begins the search for Allie Morelock, and finds himself immersed in intense family histories, tensions, and struggles, dating-back generations, and involving people named both Hampton and Morelock. Thorwait travels to Glade, and meets Sam—the newspaper man—and Sam’s sister, Leela, both of whom set-out to help him in his search. As it turns out, Leela is married to a Morelock from the area, and James begins his exploration here.
As he discovers more details about the Morelock family around Glade, Thorwait finds they have been involved, for generations, in moonshine, and, more recently, drug traffic, throughout the area, reaching back to Roalton, Tennessee, itself. The search for his mother necessarily involves him in an exploration of white liquor dealings in the mountains and “back home.”
Engaged in digging-up the past, Thorwait finds himself inexorably drawn into present-day passions, pent-up violence, and crime. His search compels him to confront the question of his own identity, the mystery of his birth-mother, and the tangled complexities of his mountain heritage.
Praise for CAROLINA BLOOD:
“Carolina Blood is a beautiful collection of powerful histories, nested together in one continuous story line covering generations of brutality, love, revenge, and redemption. The novel is a delectable suspense delivered in rich mountain settings inhabited by characters that reflect the entirety of human possibility, from the dastardly to the heroic and everything in between. Hood’s knack for painting richly nuanced characters, weaving fine tapestries of intriguing plots, and dousing us with rich Appalachian history makes his storytelling not just compelling, but enriching and important, as well. From the first page the novel intoxicates no less than the moonshine that washes through the narrative.” —Win Neagle, author of Smoke and Gravity and Full Count