Migration Route along the Mississippi Perfect Place to Release Demons

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A road trip turns into cathartic journey for thirty-one year old Ellie Moon as she joins estranged father, conman and gambler, Tiny Moon, on an adventurous odyssey from St. Louis to New Orleans in the compelling novel, “Mississippi Flyway.”

The gritty Deep South becomes the ideal backdrop for author Nel Rand’s intriguing novel “Mississippi Flyway” (ISBN 0595357628). Set along the ‘flyway’ – the migratory path that birds fly from Alaska down to the Gulf of Mexico, father/daughter duo, Ellie and Tiny Moon, are on their own journey of sorts. Like the birds, each flying away from something and toward something, in a never ending cycle of death and rebirth.

It’s 1967, and thirty-one year old Ellie Moon needs an escape from her life. Recently divorced and reeling from losing her job, she jumps at the chance to flee when estranged father, Tiny, tempts her with a three-week road trip. Ellie has been hounded by her controlling mother since childhood, and still blames herself for both her father leaving, and her sister Rose’s suicide. Hoping for relief from her painful memories, Ellie embarks on a raucous adventure down the Mississippi – after all, what else does she have to lose?

“Mississippi Flyway” follows their travels south to Rose’s grave in Mississippi, to a near drowning in the Mississippi River, to a Voodoo ceremony on a deserted bayou near New Orleans. Tiny gambles his way downstream, meeting a colorful cast of cronies along the way for card games and stopovers, all while staying one step ahead of the Kentucky sheriff hell-bent on revenge. Rand’s remarkable talent for descriptive storytelling envelops the readers in the humid atmosphere of the Deep South, while revealing the underbelly population seldom seen in the mainstream.

Ellie’s painful past begins to unravel as she retrieves dark memories of her childhood that have haunted her adult life. Raised in a shroud of Catholic guilt, Ellie repressed her early experiences of abuse and addiction, and learns that in order to forgive she must first remember. Her passage down the flyway becomes her own personal Hero’s journey. Rand offers hope through her main character that “regardless of how crippled we are emotionally, there is a part of us that wants to heal; and, that with courage and honesty, anyone can face the darkness and move toward emotional wellness.”

"The author's style, rich with unforced detail, expertly conjures very different places, and she crafts characters with the same meticulous attention. Rand's narrative has a captivating momentum, and she offers countless subtle, appealing touches. An absorbing, well-written novel about coming to terms with personal demons." - Kirkus Discoveries

Nel Rand was born in St. Louis, and grew up in Southern Illinois, and Kentucky. She was a visual artist and art therapist for many years, and now spends her time writing, reading and walking her dog, where she lives in a cabin in the woods of Oregon surrounded by giant Douglas Fir trees. “Mississippi Flyway” (ISBN 0595357628) can be purchased at online bookstores. For more information visit http://www.nelrand.com

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