Book of the Day 7/27/22

Portersville by Daryl Haskew

(Fiction / Historical)      

Portersville is a novel that takes readers back the late 19th century and early 20th century on an ambitious journey along the southwest Alabama coast. Author Daryl Haskew wonderfully constructs a compelling narrative that is rich with historical details that truly capture what life was like during that time in history. It’s an absolutely brilliant work of historical fiction that kept me coming back for more with each page.        

The book follows a young Greek couple from Greece to Florida and eventually to the exciting and mysterious world of Portersville – a place filled with family, love, native peoples, evil, murder, and fierce hurricanes. Growing up in the area, the author was able to combine historical knowledge with personal experiences to create vivid scenes of the waters and bays. Painting a beautiful picture of the area, the book helps readers understand the history of what shaped our southern coast.

It is a powerful tribute to the area that takes you on quite the adventure. If you’re a fan of historical fiction, it simply has to be on your reading list. I was blown away by Daryl Haskew’s ability to capture the little details of the setting – and also his elaborate depiction of Mother Nature. There are many factors that influence life in Portersville. But one of the most powerful is nature. Haskew describes a hurricane as if it were a sentient being – growing stronger minute by minute as she rumbles through the Gulf of Mexico. As the hurricane grows stronger like a hungry beast, it’s hard to avoid getting chills down your spine as you redirect your attention to the quaint life on the coast, completely unaware of what is brewing on the horizon.

This epic saga follows the characters throughout twenty years of life in what is now known as Bayou La Batre, Coden, and Dauphin Island, Alabama. It allows readers to grow close to its fascinating and complex characters while experiencing life in during a unique time of American history. Portersville is a literary triumph that shows the importance of personal history and experience when writing a narrative.

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