Inspiring and heartwarming— but first and foremost, a damn good read.

The Bells of Moses Henry chronicles the adventures of a seven year old mulatto boy named Willie Graves during the 1950s. Blamed for the murder of his father, Willie navigates the physical and psychological landscape of Virginia, from his mother's Charlottesville bordello and the rich apple orchards of Winchester, to the majestic terrain of the Chesapeake and the dark and foreboding Dismal Swamp. 

Sustained by the wisdom of an old African American bell ringer and the kindness of a roughneck hobo, Willie Graves is introduced to the life of train hoppers, crabbers, farm workers, juke joints, thieves, murderers, policemen, prostitutes-- without whom he could not have survived. 

The Bells of Moses is a story of loss, adventure and reconciliation.

The Bells of Moses Henry
By Peter Skinner

This is an exciting and generous novel. It was a pleasure to see, hear, and feel the array of characters, some of them up to no good, and some doing the right thing against heavy odds...
— John D. Casey, author of SPARTINA
I positively devoured this warm, gripping, human story.
— Peter Walpole, National Public Radio essayist/author
The Bells of Moses Henry’ not only tells a mesmerizing story, but has a cast of disparate characters whose lives blend together in a deceptively simple way...Peter Skinner has the gift—as do all good writers—of creating sentences that linger long after they’ve been read...Am I high on ‘The Bells of Moses Henry? Yes, I am.
Ever read a book and it is so good you don’t want it to end? I just did. I savored the last page of The Bells of Moses Henry by Peter Skinner today. This is a must read!especially if you grew up in Virginia. The story takes place in Charlottesville and the characters take us through the Commonwealth reminding us of the abundance and richness of nature and how relative we are to “her.” The characters are so well developed but with a brevity of prose; the story flows with the ease of the James River. A timely and very timeless tale.
— Annalise Binnicker Craig
The Bells of Moses Henry is the best novel I’ve read in a long time. He wrote the Great American Novel!
— John Thornton
This exquisite picturesque novel, which details the travel adventures of a mulatto boy and the drifter he befriends, beautifully combines lyricism and enchantment with gritty realism and suspense. With lively characters, pithy observations, and flair for dialogue that crackles, Skinner writes with great dexterity about Willy’s coming of age, and most particularly how the boy’s experiences are informed by his memories of Moses Henry...
— Rebecca Lilly, author, Shadwell Hills
A plain-told story, compelling and rich. If you are feeling down or despairing of the human race, I recommend this book.
— Martha Joy M. Spano
— Donovan Webster, Journalist and Author
An utterly fascinating and entertaining writing style. THE BELLS OF MOSES HENRY is a top pick.