Any successful scholar will make personal sacrifices to enhance his research. But most are never expected to include a suspect marriage to a barefoot hill girl. Musicologist J. Monroe Farley hopes to prove that the wilds of the Ozark Mountains preserved the language and music of an era gone by. Hill girl Meggie Best only hopes for a handsome prince to make her dreams come true. Neither expects to have life suddenly upended by a jar of bad piccalilli and a skunk.
This story set in the Ozarks of 1903 recalls mountain ways and wiles as unique as the music the traveling scholar seeks. Publisher's Weekly awarded a starred review and described the story as "rich and heady as a jug of mountain 'donk' - and just as hard to put down."
©1994 Pamela Morsi (P)2015 Pamela Morsi
I review books and audiobooks, mostly mystery, police procedurals, That's about it!
It's the early 1900s and musicologist J. Monroe Farley (Roe) has travelled to the Ozarks. He has a theory and wants to study the music of the area.
He meets up with the Best family, daughter Meggie believes he is the Prince Charming she has dreamed of for so many years. With both coming from completely different backgrounds, Meggie being raised in the Ozarks and Roe educated at Harvard, they certainly don't share the same life view. It is their different outlooks and different life expectations that provide the story with plenty of scope, some quite humorous.
I found it quite slow to start, consequently it took me a while to become involved in the story, but I did like the way the characters slowly developed and moved towards an appreciative realisation of each others differences.
I quite enjoyed the book and though I appreciate the quality and style of the writing, as it is a romance, albeit historical, I don't think I quite fit the intended readership, but the music helped it along.
A fine narration by Kevin Clay, I enjoyed the wonderful rhythmn and tone of his voice, very easy to listen to. His vocal gender changes and characterisations are excellent, the listener won't be left guessing at who is speaking. For me, he made the story more interesting, he carries it along at the right pace and his timing is spot on. I enjoyed the accents, being non-American I can't vouch for the accuracy but they sounded pretty good to me.
Disclaimer: audiobook provided by the narrator in return for an honest review
I was given this audio book free in exchange for an honest review. This story was set in the Ozark Mountains in the early 1900's. It's the story of J. Monroe Farley, who has traveled to the Ozarks to capture the songs and music of the area to try to confirm his theory that it is still a pure form of early music brought to the country by their ancestors. Upon arriving to the Ozarks he stumbles across the Best family and reluctantly agrees to stay with them after suffering greatly from the daughter's attempt at cooking.
Meggie Best has read fairy tales all her life and has been waiting for her Prince Charming to arrive. She's convinced that Roe is all she's been waiting for until he announces that he has no intention of marrying her and then becomes ill from her cooking. Prince Charming, indeed! She's attracted to him, but over him. Her brother, Simple Jess, has declared that Roe is his friend and goes about trying to teach Roe to farm the poor land.
There are many moments of hilarity, misunderstandings and cultural clashes. There's also the attraction between barefoot Meggie and cultured Roe. There are actual songs thrown in the mix that really added a lot to the story. The different voices used by Kevin Clay added even more. At first it felt like this was going to be a simple book telling a simple story, but as it develops you realize the many different types and depths of love displayed in this story. It really was beautiful. I can't wait to go on to the story of Simple Jess.
It is the story of Roe Farley, a Harvard academic who comes to the Ozarks in 1902 to study folk songs. He meets Meggie Best, who immediately believes that Roe is her prince come in the flesh. Roe, however, is an honorable man who intends only to complete his research and return to his life in Massachusetts. There's a romance somewhere. Very entertaining historical romance.
The Marrying Stone by Pamela Morsi just received an excellent update with Audible narration. Originally published in 1994, The Marrying Stone involves a tight knit community in the Ozarks at the turn of the 20th century. Having grown up near the Appalachia Mountains of West Virginia myself, I couldn’t help but chuckle at the backward ways of the people in Marrying Stone, Arkansas, including their blunt speech about personal matters - but it describes my family today!
The story begins when Harvard musicologist Monroe “Roe” Farley arrives in Marrying Stone in search of proof for his theory that folk music in the Ozark Mountains has its roots in Celtic songs from hundreds of years ago. He first meets Jess a young man working in the fields, who is not “the brightest bulb in the shed,” as my Grandmother used to say. But Jess is kindhearted and trusting, and without hesitation takes Roe home to meet his father and sister. Within a few hours, Roe is invited to stay with the family until his research is complete [this was very believable because I recall my grandfather invited a virtual stranger to stay with us once over the holidays when I was a teenager], and Roe’s attraction to Jess’s sister Meggie is undeniable.
The plot and character development is excellent, including a few very detailed and hilarious secondary characters. You can see Roe’s slow realization that Jess and his family are intelligent, despite not having a formal education. Roe also appreciates how affectionate they are toward each other and he realizes by the end of the book that he never felt like part of a family until he lived in the Ozarks.
Kevin Clay did a fantastic job narrating. He really brought the characters to life giving each one their own distinct voice. His narration was natural and easy to listen to; I could easily imagine I was watching a movie rather than listening to an audiobook. I received a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest unbiased review from Audiobook Blast. In short, I highly recommend this audio book!
--I was given a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
I read Simple Jess first, which I totally fell in love with. The character of Jessie is just refreshing and lovable. This being the first in the series, I was looking forward to the same kind of feel. I liked this one, but not as much. Meggie, Jess's sister throws herself at Roe the minute he walks in their cabin door, thinking he will be the Prince Charming of her fairy tales. To say the least, their relationship is a rocky on. I really enjoyed Roe, I thought his transformation from city scholar to country farmer was well evolved. He is a complex character and you get to see many different sides of him. I especially loved his friendship with Jessie. It was honest and true, something you don't get to see often, he doesn't see Jessie's slowness as a disability,but just as a part of him. This kept me interested. The character of Meggie was not as warm and fuzzy for me. She was immature and harsh, and in the end, lucky in my opinion that the story ended as it did!
Kevin Clay again gave us an incredible performance. I just love his voice, it is warm and soothing. He is able to portray women well, and with this book gave us some very good singing performances! I always enjoy his narrations.
This started off slowly for me but then I continued listening and became more involved in Maggie and Roe's story. The author took time to develop the characters and let me learn about them, their dreams and desires, more fully. The narration was very good with a well modulated voice, accents that seemed appropriate and voices for the characters that fit them. I'm glad Jesse has his own story and can't wait to listen to it. Thank you Pamela for allowing me to review this audiobook. Even though it was free, the opinions here are entirely my own.
What a nice romance! The reader was very good with the different characters. Meggie and Jess were my favorite characters. I enjoyed hearing about their sincere and honest emotions with everyone they met. I know the romance between Meggie and Roe is the most important part of this romance and I enjoyed them together but I also enjoyed Jess and Roe's friendship.
Kevin Clay did an outstanding job creating distinctive voices for each character. His good singing voice was a nice surprise and added to the experience.
Though he wasn't a main character, I liked Jess. The author gave us a character who was so well written, I felt as if I knew him as a person.
My favorite scene was when Meggie & Roe were trying to convince everyone that they jumped off the marrying stone because of a skunk and everyone just humored them.
I wanted to savor this book, so I listened to it over 1 1/2 weeks. It was a nice distraction during each day.
*I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review*
I really enjoyed listening to a historical romance set in the Ozarks. I've read other Pamela Morsi books and have enjoyed them as well. I like the setting and the side characters as much as the main characters. The narrator did a great job as well. There were so many different voices. It was fun to listen to.
Report Inappropriate Content