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Publisher's Summary

“Just remember. We all go underwater at some point. What matters is that you come back up.” 

The headwaters of the Cahaba River are neither wide nor fierce. So it’s almost unimaginable to think that the police found Billy’s friend there, lifeless below their waters. 

The first 15 years of Billy’s life have been spent in commune with the Cahaba, tracing its winding path through the beautiful valleys of his small hometown, Shilo’s Beat, Alabama. But ever since Jessie’s death, the same landscape that has long comforted him now seems to be conspiring against him. What happened to Jessie? Was it the strange old man they call the Mayor? Or maybe Jessie’s dangerous adversary from up on the mountain? Everyone keeps insisting that Jessie killed himself, but Billy knows it can’t be true. If things had gotten that bad, Billy would have known, right?

Intent on finding answers and haunted by a progressive parasomnia that blurs the edges between reality and dreams, the symbolic and the supernatural, Billy leans on his eccentric Uncle John and a cast of characters as unique as the Cahaba itself to make sense of it all. 

If he wants to learn the truth, Billy must grapple with the long and varied history that’s hidden deep within the red clay of this old land - the persistent, distinctively Southern legacy that followed the Scotch-Irish into the foothills of Appalachia. But the truth is messy. And Billy should tread carefully, because as well as he knows the creek, he may not be wandering alone.

The Preacher, the Fisherman, and the Cahaba is the compelling and deeply authentic young adult debut of L.R. McDonald.

©2020 L.R. McDonald (P)2021 L.R. McDonald

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