It is 1861, and Angel Woolsack is a Confederate about to breathe his last, as the Union forces make their inexorable approach. Rejected by his wife, his wealth no longer useful to him, he sets about recording his testament. His story is that of a preacher's son, who flees the hardscrabble life of his itinerant father and falls in with a charismatic highwayman. The novel moves from the bordellos of Natchez to the Mississippi plantations, and finally to the back rooms of New Orleans where would-be revolutionaries are plotting to break away from the young United States. The Blood of Heaven is a remarkable portrait of a young man seizing his place in a violent new world.