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Thunder and White Lightning by Grace Hawthorne

Thunder and White Lightning

by Grace Hawthorne

300 pages
Dawsonville, Georgia was the moonshine capital of the country in the 1940s. Thunder and White Lightning is a family story of moonshiners, whiskey trippers, dirt tracks, soldiers, stock cars drivers and the untamed characters-real and fiction-who make NASCAR possible and pointed it toward the future.

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Category: Fiction:Historical
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About the Book
The Scots-Irish who settled in the North Georgia mountains were—as Margaret Mitchell would say—people with gumption. In Thunder and White Lightning readers meet two families and a host of real-life characters who face the world head-on with a quirky sense of humor and a hankering for adventure.

They find that red clay is only good for two things: corn, which they turn into moonshine to support their families and pay their taxes and dirt tracks, which are perfect for racing hopped-up whiskey cars, stock cars and eventually, for NASCAR.

The characters—real and fictional—are independent, patriotic, fractious, funny and unpredictable, but they are never boring. They outrun revenuers, go to jail, build new stills, laugh and fall in love, fight in WWII, learn that prosperity isn’t always easy, bet their future on a second-hand Plymouth and finally take the checkered flag with red dust flying. In other words, it’s the Downton Abbey of North Georgia.


Thunder and White Lightning’s setting in Dawsonville, Georgia is fitting given that it is the Birthplace of Stockcar Racing and that moonshine and bootlegging are a large part of our heritage.
- Bill Elliott
My husband grew up in the 40s and he and his friends idolized Roy Hall and the other drivers. Thunder and White Lightning rang true to his teenage memories.
- Fontaine Draper
Grace Hawthorne’s books are a piece of the tapestry of Americana, part of the strong tradition of storytellers. Thunder and White Lightning is no exception.
- Nanette Trainor


Related Titles
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    1940s misadventure of crime and crookedness told with Louisiana humor.
  • Crossing the Moss Line by Grace Hawthorne
    A Gullah/Geechee tale of choices, consequences and wicked Southern humor.
  • Lost River by Grace Hawthorne
    On the surface, Lost River is a typical Georgia town in 1949, but underneath, it’s a whole different story.


About the Author
Grace Hawthorne Grace Hawthorne is an award-winning author. She has written everything from ad copy for septic tanks, to lyrics for Sesame Street. She worked as a professional storyteller and is also an amateur photographer. She is Yankee born (New Jersey) and Southern bred (Louisiana). She and her husband, Jim, live in Atlanta.



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