Gadly Plain

A Novel

by J. Michael Dew

Fiction / Literature

Paperback / 5.5″ x 8.5″ / 224 pp. / Original drawings by Ross Boone

ISBN: 9780981892993

What happens when you mix an orphaned girl just coming of age, a grieving, pain-filled family, a rural Kentucky barnyard, a donkey who has lived since Adam and has stories to tell, a mentally-handicapped man, and an apocalyptic climax? Happily, you get a literary novel that maintains its lyrical language and dramatic pace from the first to the last page and leaves you thinking, smiling, wondering, looking at this life and the next with eyes to see in fresh, new ways.

When a young girl’s father dies, and her mother abandons her at her paternal grandparents’ home in Kentucky, no one helps her cope with the cloud of death that hovers over the family … until she wanders down to the neighbor’s barn. There in an earthy, unlikely haven, vistas open to Spring-baby that transcend time and place and even death.

For readers who love layered fiction both personal and sweeping in scope. If you enjoy literary novels that show the intersection of the grit, grief and glory of life on earth with the presence, power and persuasion of the supernatural and heavenly—this novel will enthrall you.

At the back of the book is an interview with the author and a discussion guide for reading groups and book clubs.

Creative drawings by Raw Spoon (aka Ross Boone), at the head of each chapter, bring visual life and added sensory dimension to the reading experience.





“This engaging novel is all about seeking, the universal quest for knowledge, the asking of ‘why?’ As in life, the answers are not always obvious, even though they may be hiding in plain sight.”

Carolyn Warren, BookPleasures

“It’s not often I come across a small literary miracle, an unexpected gift. Gadly Plain is that type of book. It sweeps us up into the rich yet simple world of an orphaned girl and a mysterious donkey, a world both familiar and mystical, melancholic and full of hope. Do yourself a favor and open this gift.”

− Eric Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of Fireproof and October Baby

“Gadly Plain is a book about sorrow, regret, and grief—but it is also about the fleeting spirit of childhood and the choices we make to believe in the stories that give us hope. Gentle and reflective, this is a story about stories and the incredible power they hold to heal and redeem broken hearts.”

ForeWord Reviews

Watch the Book Trailer:

 Also Available:


Story based on an extract from Gadly Plain. Available in e-book.