The Prodigal

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 in the debut novel by Michael Hurley that Kirkus calls ”stirring, romantic and evocative of the sea’s magic.”


“ A masterpiece of artistic imagination.  Hurley’s eloquent, hypnotic style will have readers following, unquestioningly, to the very end.”

ForeWord Clarion Review

“A glorious, satisfying read
that overnight leapt onto this constant reader’s personal
‘Top 5 of 2013′ list.”




Vineyard ARC Front Cover2




18 04, 2014

The Hour of Our Despair

  • April 18th, 2014

A curious figure of Anglican liturgy who has always caught my eye is the verger.  He is that somber fellow who comes into church ahead of the priest in the processional, dressed in black and carrying a rather severe looking baton capped with an equally unyielding, silver cross.  It is a weapon—a canonical billy club, for want of a better term.  The verger is the “heat,” the protector of the faithful, an historical remnant of what was once something like the priest’s Secret Service detail.  His ceremonial office derives from the not infrequent need in ancient Christianity for a stout man who would brook no nonsense from the crowd and use a stick carried in hand—a “verge”—to defend the priest against an unruly and unbelieving mob.

The verger entered the cathedral of Grace Episcopal Church here in Charleston for Maundy Thursday service, yesterday, carrying his staff firmly and confidently as usual.  But after the footwashing and Passion, in which the […]


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