Feedback from readers of my books.

Here's a compilation of reader reviews and comments.


Gail in Georgia about Chasing the Powhatan Arrow

"Mike, I am almost finished with Chasing the Powhatan Arrow and I do not want this book to end!!! I have loved every minute of it. I have learned so much about the engine I love, the State of Virginia (where I loved living so many years ago), and the N&W, which my dad worked for (he is now deceased). This book hit a chord with me in so many ways that you will never know and I will probably go back and read it again six months from now and enjoy it just as much.
"I enjoyed it so much that I just ordered all your other books. I love the way you write so do not stop writing books!!!!! You have a great gift that should be shared I really enjoy your writing style.
"Thank you, Mike, for a wonderful book. Keep on writing!!"


* Ken in Independence, VA about "War, WV"

In War, WV, Michael Abraham weaves a compelling story of the mining life in a small town in the coal country of West Virginia. We meet miners and their families, already dealing with tragedy, shortly before a major disaster rips their world apart. The way the miners respond to the crisis and seek justice leads us through surprising twists and turns and leaves no one unscathed. A memoir of the early days of coal mining through the eyes of one of the characters adds depth to the portrait of the lives of miners and their families. What is the real price of extracting coal from the ground and who pays it most dearly? I love this book!


* Ibby in Rocky Mount, Virginia, about "War, WV"

That “valley of the shadow of death” we are so familiar with might describe the mining community, War, West Virginia, in Michael Abraham’s novel of that title. Like his recent novel, “Providence, VA,” in which an electromagnetic pulse forever changes the lives of its victims by destroying anything needing electricity to operate, this novel is peopled with an amazing variety of characters thrown into chaos by a natural disaster. The dangers of underground and strip mining, the environmental issues and toxins, and the politics behind the problems swirl through this fast-paced book like the flood waters in the hollows below the dams that break. And like a rich coal seam deep inside the mountains, being revealed little by little, the unpublished memoir of one of the characters is a narrative within a narrative and reveals what life was in the heyday of mining in McDowell County, WV. Blight, poverty, loyalty. Rocks, water, fire, gas. Hard work. Betrayal. Disease. As one old-timer says, “Nobody ever comes to the hollows of West Virginia by accident. Everyone has a reason.” Delve into the gritty and dark War going on in this well-crafted novel, and then rethink that valley of the shadow of death. Not everyone safely passes through.


* Clinton in Australia about "Providence, VA"

I met Clinton while hiking (for three days in the pouring rain) in New Zealand in January. He wrote,

"I finally read your book after meeting you on our Routeburn trail hike early in the year. I really enjoyed it and found it an uncanny similarity with other information I have recently received and been interested in. I want to know if there is a sequel as I presumed you were moving towards Avalon actually being the Antichrist with the crosses appearing in her eyes etc."


* Alexis in Pennsylvania about "Harmonic Highways"

I’ve written several times about my musical heritage and how I wasn’t raised on classical music. I didn’t even really become immersed in classical music until the summer before my senior year of high school when I attended the Sewanee Summer Music Festival. Learning the musical language of an art form I didn’t really grow up with was the challenge and I worked incredibly hard to achieve competence and a feeling that I belonged.

I grew up listening to all kinds of music, but I started out singing in church and I sang a lot of gospel music. I still remember my favorites like Give Me that Old Time Religion and I’ll Fly Away (imagine my excitement to find a youtube channel devoted to the hymnal I vividly remember as having the most fun songs to sing). Eventually, I sang more contemporary music and then I began playing the flute in 6th grade. I eventually stopped singing and focused on the flute and classical music.

When I was younger, I never linked my own musical heritage with the flute. I always felt like the flute connected me to the larger world beyond the sheltered region of Southwest Virginia where bluegrass and old time music is the organic and dominant musical presence. Aside from school band programs, classical music was and is non-existent in my home county.


In reading Michael Abraham’s book, Harmonic Highways: Exploring Virginia’s Crooked Road, I’ve realized how much the region has changed in the 10 years since I’ve lived there. Abraham’s book reminded me that I have an innate need to somehow combine sound worlds and learn more about the music that is a part of my individual musical fabric, even if I wasn’t actively listening to it during my developmental musical years. I want to tap into the change, forge relationships and connect to the music that is present in everyone in that region. It may not be “art music” but it’s the kind of music that gets you moving, thinking and processing life.

I’m working on a special project that will be the first step in my process of actually combining worlds. It’s going to require some stepping out of my comfort zone but why not? I’m always going to feel a special connection to my tiny hometown and I want to honor those roots. The beauty of this music is that anytime I feel homesick, I can just listen and it takes me home.