Readers' Favorite

Featured Post

N is for Nonfiction #AtoZChallenge

by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I'm discussing different book genres/categories. Each day, I will give a few details about the...

December 31, 2019

The Moonshiner's Daughter by Donna Everhart ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"The only memory I have of Mama, she was on fire."  (p 1)

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

“I didn’t want to be known as the moonshiner’s daughter.”

December 2019; Kensington; 978-1496717023
audio, ebook, print (368 pages); southern fiction
The Moonshiner's Daughter is set in 1960 in N. Wilksboro, NC, the leading area for the making of moonshine in the south.  The Sasser family was one of the main producers and distributors of moonshine during this time.  The secrets for making good shine had been passed down through the generations and the current family is made up of Easton, his daughter Jessie and son Merritt.  Lydia, the wife and mother, had died in an accident while making moonshine twelve years earlier.  This is Jessie's story.

Jessie is 16 years old and resentful of the fact that she is a moonshiner's daughter.  She manifests her feelings about this by being disrespectful and argumentative to those around her.  She is ashamed and unable to make new friends at school.  She seeks comfort in her life with food and has a major eating disorder that rules her life.  Her brother is happy to be part of the family business of making moonshine and is eager to help his father.  Jessie helps reluctantly - she is given little choice - but mentally makes plans on how she can save her family and help them get out of the business.  She isn't willing to admit that their family business puts clothes on their backs and food on their table.  She makes plans to destroy the stills and just knows that she'll have a better life and be more accepted by her peers if she isn't a moonshiner's daughter.

Jessie really resonated with me as the main character. She is only 16 and at times is wise beyond her years while at other times you can see her lack of maturity. This is basically a coming of age novel and her pain and conflicting attitudes are evident throughout it. She is ashamed of the way her family lives and how they make their living. When she seeks solace in food, you just want to talk to her and tell her that life will get better, but she is so filled with shame and disgust at her life that she could only find relief in food. At first, she felt like she could control her life with her overeating but soon learns that food has become her master.

Donna Everhart has proved once more that she is the Author of Southern Novels with Authenticity and Grit.  She has brought her readers a wonderful, well-researched novel full of likable (and a few unlikeable) characters.  My prediction is that this will be THE winter book of 2020 that everyone will be reading and discussing.

Buy The Moonshiner's Daughter at Amazon

About the Author

Donna Everhart is the Author of Southern Novels with Authenticity and Grit. This is her fourth novel and I have given top rated reviews to all of them:

The Education of Dixie Dupree and The Road to Bittersweet - Read the reviews.
The Forgiving Kind - Read the review.

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling. She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter

Get even more book news in your inbox, sign up today! Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.


  1. I may be adding this to my list for 2020.

  2. I have her previous three novels, don't have this one though, and yeah, she should be an author I should check out soon...few times she hosted for American Historical Fiction group that I"m kind of part of, and I won the copy of her The Road to Bittersweet. Is she a lot like Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd?

  3. This sounds good and it has a lovely cover.