Friday, November 1, 2013

BLOG TOUR: The Prodigal by Michael C. Hurley

Title: The Prodigal
Author: Michael C. Hurley
Genre: Adult Contemporary/Literary Fiction
Publisher: Ragbagger Press
Release Date: June 1/2013
Adquired: Print copy provided by author
Goodreads: ADD

Pride, betrayal, forgiveness . . . and the eternal sea. The Prodigal tells the mystical tale of four people on Ocracoke Island whose destiny is tied to an abandoned schooner, thought to have been lost at sea more than a century ago, that one day drifts ashore. Marcus O’Reilly, a renegade Catholic priest, must confront his inner demons. Ibrahim Joseph, a Bahamian fugitive, must face his past. Aidan Sharpe, a fallen lawyer, struggles with self-doubt and his growing affection for Molly McGregor, a fearless towboat captain who cannot find the courage to love. They will all be drawn into a 2,000-year-old mystery that unfolds with the reappearance of the ship.


There are books that excel at descriptive narrative, and then there are books that OWN it. The Prodigal owned the hell out of it's imagery. I didn't get the smallest chance to wonder what someone looked like, what the wind was doing to that sand dune over there-Michael Hurley painted the most beautiful pictures. My knowledge on the ways of the sea is nil, and even less so for the boats that roam it's surfaces. Hurley comes from a background of sea and law, so The Prodigal is abundant with both. My brain glazed over at those spots, but my GOD how his poetic writing kept me awake and highly engrossed.

Aiden Sharpe is described as a man that controls the world around him. Though calm and collective by nature, and practically a demi-god in his position as a lawyer, Aiden can feel his sanity slipping. His grip is completely loosened when a a decision at work results in the destruction of life as he knew it. Father Marcus is hiding behind lies, and helping Sarah hide behind the ones he's created for her. Bobbi, Molly, and Ibrahim are all coming to terms with aspects of their life they've never fully had a hold on. Each character in The Prodigal was so intricately broken in their own way, and each word that was used to heal them, helped heal me in the process. This book was a dose of something that everyone should take, it was medicine for the soul.

I love the way a book set alongside the sea has a way of calming my brain. Hurley was generous with his words, as he created each wave, and mixed scents of sea salt, with earth. I wish I was able to better appreciate his passages that involved boats, and sailing, and the general mechanics of such machinery, but alas, I understood little, though that didn't stop me from enjoying it's involvement in the story. Having read many books that had aspects of law, and religious undertones, I welcomed those ideas, and felt more connected to the book because of it. Above it all, however, was the mystery of The Prodigal: a boat that came with an age-old past. I loved the interweaving of past, and present, and the way each characters role in the mystery was intriguing, and well thought out.

I expected so much less from The Prodigal, and was surprised to find a narrative that will stay alive in my head for the next few days. This is a great read to start the holiday season with!

 Recommended for Fans of: Mitch Albom, Paulo Coelho, Contemporary, Romance, Literary Fiction.


Michael Hurley lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife Susan. Together they have four children ranging in age from 19 to 23. Born in Baltimore in 1958, Michael studied English at the University of Maryland and law at St. Louis University. He was licensed to practice law in Texas in 1984 and North Carolina in 1993. He is the senior attorney in a small defense firm in Raleigh and has been recognized in North Carolina Super Lawyers each year since that recognition was begun in 2006.

A lifelong sailor, Michael obtained his captain’s license from the U.S. Coast Guard in 1992 and, while waiting to receive his North Carolina law license, took six months off from the practice of law to work as a sailboat charter captain in New Bern. Between 1995 and 2003, while practicing law full-time, he also wrote and published Paddle & Portage, a quarterly literary journal on wilderness canoeing enjoyed by more than 10,000 subscribers in 48 states. When he is not sailing or writing or canoeing, Michael continues a hopeless quest to prove that his piano teachers at Baltimore’s Peabody Institute were wrong about him all along.

Contact Links


Thank-you to Trish from TLC Book Tours for hosting this tour, and to Michael for sending me a print copy to review!

CLICK HERE to follow the rest of the tour


  1. Wow, your description of his writing is making me want to pick this book up RIGHT NOW.

    Thanks for being on the tour!

  2. So many people have mentioned how great the author's writing is. I'm so glad you agree!


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