Despite the ever-present oppression of the Jim Crow South around him, Tobit Messager had become a prosperous and well-respected man. Then one day forces beyond his control start a cascade of misfortune that leaves him blind and nearly destitute. It is then that an affable travelling musician, who calls himself Ace Redbone, shows up on his doorstep claiming to be a distant relative.In an effort to alleviate his family's dire situation, Tobit allows his son, Tobias, to accompany Ace Redbone on a quest to collect a long overdue debt. Together, Ace, Tobias, and a most peculiar dog named Okra set off on a journey that will lead to unexpected consequences. Currents of grace begin rippling through not only Tobit's family but his entire community as hidden crimes are revealed and justice, which had almost been despaired of, is served.
This retelling of the biblical story of Tobit, set in North Carolina during the Depression, brings to life in surprising ways the beloved Old Testament characters, including the important but often overlooked family dog.
Michael Nicholas Richard was born in Saco, Maine. He has lived most of his life near New Bern, North Carolina. His short stories have been published in small press, magazine, and paperback markets. He lives with his wife of 35 years and their two dogs.