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Publisher's Summary

In the rural Deep South, there are stories about people who, upon the approach of their death, have been greeted by dead loved ones who return as ghosts to lead them into the next world.

This is one of those stories.

©2012 John I. Jones (P)2017 John I. Jones

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Touching and sad

This is a touching story of true love and the incredible pain and emptiness of loss. I could almost feel their pain. By the end of this story I felt like I had lost someone myself. It was well written and the narrator did a fine job but this is definitely not one I wouldn't care to listen to again. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The ending nailed it for me

Set in the 1940s in Alabama, this story is seen through the eyes of a boy whose mother is a live-in nurse for an elderly dying woman, Mary McDaniel. Mary’s husband, Boone, is still an active farmer and is doing his best to deal with his wife’s impending death. The boy, referred to as Little Turd Knocker by Boone, is curious about the farm and splits his time between helping out with chores, exploring, and playing with his circus set or pretending to be a cowboy.

Mary takes weeks to reach her final breath, so this story has time to ramble through the life Mary and Boone built. Even though we know at the beginning that this tale is going to end in death, it gently meanders along. Little Turd Knocker and his mother move onto the farm for the summer so Mary can be eased into her death as best as possible. Boone’s best friend, other than Mary, is his dog Nero, who attends him daily in the fields. Eventually, Boone asks Little Turd Knocker to go with him and the two become friends.

Jones kicks things up a notch when we learn of Nero’s near escape from death as a pup. Then the story goes up another notch when we learn of Boone’s old injury and how that affected his life. So when Mary’s last breath arrives, I was ready for it. I wasn’t ready for what happened next. Oh my! I felt this story was ending on a sad disastrous note. Then in swoops the final scenes and this poignant, almost joyous ending lands on both feet.

This is one of my favorite stories so far by this author. For a short tale, Jones really pulls the reader in with imagery of the farm and phrases and attitudes that were common to the time and location. I nodded knowingly when Little Turd Knocker mentally noted how a sharp goose quill can poke through a pillow, making the experience of a feather filled pillow realistic. Then there’s cotton growing on many acres and hidden money and simple toys and the cowboy story craze of the 1940s. It’s a rich atmosphere that encapsulates these believable characters. 5/5 stars.

I received a free copy of this book.

The Narration: Michael T. Downey was OK for this story. He did have a great voice for the inner thoughts of Little Turd Knocker and his gruff older voice for Boone was perfect. His female voices were also believable and he had distinct voices for each character. However, the technical recording of this narration is where the trouble lies. There are many mouth noises throughout the story. The volume occasionally goes a little up or down (but not enough to hurt your ears). So a little polishing is needed there. 3.5/5 stars.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I loved it!

All of John's visually detailed stories have a message for the listener. Whether it's good morals, family bonds, or love that exceeds the test of time. The way this very talented author is able to tell a complete story with enough details to make you feel as if you are there in such a short amount of time is amazing to me. This story about a husband's love for his wife was heartbreakingly beautiful. Even death couldn't break their strong bond with one another. I requested this book in exchange for my honest review. I highly recommend this book to anyone limited on time that loves a good story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Both sweet and bittersweet

You know you really love a book when you are listening and you find yourself shouting NO!!!! at the top of your lungs when something happens in the story.

As much as I felt for the main character for how much he loved his wife and the pain he felt when he lost her, there were things he did that I highly disapproved of and which I deemed selfish beyond belief. I can only forgive his actions because he was insane with grief. That's all I'm going to say because I don't believe in spoilers.

But I suppose that's the hallmark of a great story -- when the characters become so real that you get pissed off and stay pissed for days afterward. I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I will be on the lookout for more stories by this fantastic author. The narrator put so much of his heart and soul into the story, that just added to the emotional element that moved me to tears in this short story.

Highly recommended.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic!

Wow! Another amazing short story by this author! Incredibly well written and perfect narration. Highly recommend!


I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. The fact that I was gifted this book had no influence over my opinion of it

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Emotionally engaging

I'm not generally a fan of short stories, generally I prefer something longer so I can connect with the characters better, but this story didn't need to be longer for me to connect. The story and the characters are so realistic that they feel real.

This short story is packed with emotions and life lessons, it's a great read for book lovers of all ages.

The narration is excellent, the character voices are well done with great accents and the delivery helped draw me into the story.

I received a free copy of this book from the author and/or narrator and/or publisher and I voluntarily wrote this honest review.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Everything he did, he did for Miss Mary

A snapshot view of an old Alabama farmer, seen through the eyes of a young boy, Billy, whose mother had been employed at the farm to nurse the terminally ill wife that the gentle farmer had loved his whole life. Well written, this short novella conjures up the expanse of the farm, the solitude of Boone, despite the numerous farm workers, and above all, Boone's love for his Mary. Completely unsentimental, it is still very moving.
Michael James, the narrator, conveys it beautifully, his reading perfectly paced to the writing, and his protagonist voicings were also nicely performed. A poignant tale, yet one filled with the wonder of a child's recall.
My thanks to the rights holder for the free gifting of this book to me, via Audiobook Boom. Short, sweet and recommended.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Masterful short

The author is a master of the short story. He transports you into another place and time and in a short while introduces you to gritty realistic characters and delivers a message of deep strength in each one. Highly recommend for those short drives/runs, etc. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A nice story and excellent storytelling

A touching story of love and commitment through the eyes of a young boy. Leaves me wihing for more.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Another good short story!

This is another great short story from Mr. Jones. Although a great story, it’s quite sad....yet, sweet and happy, maybe tragically happy? As always, Jones’ storytelling makes you feel as if you are there with his characters, you know them as well as he does.
The narration was just okay; it could’ve been better but, it doesn’t detract from the story.
I received a review copy at my request and voluntarily reviewed.