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Publisher's Summary

A consummate storyteller in the Southern tradition, Lee Smith tugs at her listeners' heartstrings with this haunting narrative that reads like a country ballad. Touching, funny, and sad, its down-to-earth characters are somehow familiar and endearing as they do their best to meet the demands of daily life.

Her mother's pride and joy, young Crystal Spangler has a keen intellect, the body of a beauty queen, and the heart of a poet. When she leaves Appalachia to attend college and follow her dreams, she faces a dazzling future. But something lurking in the shadow of Black Mountain is calling her back, something that will change her life forever.

With passion, warmth, and insight, narrator Linda Stephens gradually reveals the rich irony inherent in this compelling novel. Her expressive, lyrical voice ensures the listener a delightfully vivid listening experience.

©1980 Lee Smith; (P)1998 Recorded Books, LLC

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  • Overall

Not Lee Smith's best book - but good narration

This story is not very dramatic, and the characters not all that appealing, but it was of some interest to hear about growing up in that part of the country during that era. Parts of the book sounded more like an outline the author was going to fill in, but didn't get around to. The narrator did a good job, anyway. I wasn't exactly disappointed because I like just about any book set in the South, but I could not recommend it to anyone with higher standards!