Marrying Stone

Narrated by: Kevin Clay
Series: Marrying Stone, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 8 mins
4 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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

What listeners say about Marrying Stone

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

Historical Romance in the Ozarks - with music

Outline

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.
Narrator

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

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A layered story of love, hardship and differences!

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.

2 people found this helpful

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Watch Your Step

Marrying Stone: Book 1
Author: Pamela Morsi
Narrator: Kevin Clay

Listening Time: 11 Hrs 8 Min.


I always like to preface any reviews I give with this information.
I am a 68 year old female who has been an avid reader since I was around 10 or 11 years old.
I read mainly for entertainment purposes although I do a lot of research in areas of personal interest.
I have a great interest in many things. Ancient History and Archeology are at the top of a very long list.


Disclaimer: "This Audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost, in exchange for an unbiased honest review."

I just finished this audiobook earlier today and I absolutely loved everything about this wonderful story.

This book is set in the early 1900s in Arkansas in a small place known as "Marrying Stone".

Roe, (J. Monroe Farley) is a Harvard educated Musicologist who travels to the Ozark mountains with an Ediphone to capture recordings of songs that he believes will prove the premise for his thesis; that the music of these somewhat isolated group of people, had it's roots in Celtic origins hundreds of years prior and because of their isolation in the mountains has been preserved and unchanged, by outside influences.


Roe ends up staying at the home of the Best family. The father "Ornery" (Henry), and his two children Meggie, and "Simple Jess".

Roe is a very sweet and clean cut fellow who believes himself to be more intelligent and knowledgeable because of his education, than those people he is visiting. He is a very proper kind of person.

Meggie is a young woman who has day dreamed of a prince charming since she was read fairy tales by her mother years earlier, and is the glue in the Best household that holds the family together and she is aware of that fact.

Jesse aka "Simple Jess" is a sweet innocent young man and is perceived as being simpleminded by everyone in his neck of the woods, and truly he is simpleminded in many ways, but he yearns to live a normal life. Jess is not quite as "simpleminded" as many people believe because he tends to keep his hurt feelings to himself when makes fun of him.

The father, "Ornery" aptly called that for a reason; is a wonderful and caring parent and very wise and wily as well.

Into this mix there are many characters that Roe will meet who share their history of songs. Some of these songs are quite old and Roe eventually comes to know and respect these people as time goes on and they come to sing for him so that he can record their songs on the Ediphone.
Over a period of time Roe comes to be accepted into the community.



This is a truly lovely story set in an era that was so much more innocent; a time when people cared about their neighbors and about family life. This is a story about community in a small isolated microcosm and all the blessings, issues, and petty grievances that go along with that.
It is about a way of life in very primitive conditions.

Roe has always lived in a city setting back east and has never done hard physical labor and in the course of his stay, he pays his way, by working around the cabin and on the land Mr Best owns.

This is also a story of how people from very different walks of life can learn to find a common path, as well.

One of the things I love about this book/audiobook is the emotional growth, and progression of the characters. This is a very sweet love story as well; and in addition to that, there is so much real life humor that I was entranced and captivated by the entire story. I laughed so much while listening to this audiobook.

Another plus for me was all the songs and singing that was done in this story.
Coming from a musically inclined family myself, where we used to have jam sessions and my grandmother used to make up parodies of popular songs when I was a kid; there was a very real connection that I felt with this group of people and their way of life.

Author Pamela Morsi is an author I had never read/listened to before, and I can tell you I will be watching for her work and intend to get more of it. She imbued this wonderful novel with all the elements of great storytelling.


Narrator Kevin Clay is someone whose work I have listened to several times now and I am always amazed at his ability to make characters come alive in my mind.

This audiobook had the added component of singing done by masculine and feminine characters and Kevin's singing voice ranges are so natural sounding that when I listened to the female characters singing, I was amazed. I never felt that I was listening to a man "do" a woman's voice. He is really incredible in this audiobook. I will be listening to more of his work.

I think this book would be enjoyed by anyone who is interested in a wide range of things. There is music and references to the history of music and how people can carry their ancestor's songs from different parts of the world. The interest in earlier periods of time in America, and especially in the Ozark Mountains, and of the way of life that many people lived in the very early 20th Century. This is a touching, wonderful, humorous, and realistic love story as well.
If I were to set an age, I would say anyone from the age of 20 and above would really enjoy it.






1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Marrying stone

What did you like best about Marrying Stone? What did you like least?

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.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic update to historical romance!

Any additional comments?

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!

1 person found this helpful

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Enjoyable, Love Jess

--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.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Fun story

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.

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Well Researched

The author obviously did a lot of research on the time period. The language, songs, and customs rings true.

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Romance with Characters You Will Love

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.

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Wonderful story set in the early 1900s

What made the experience of listening to Marrying Stone the most enjoyable?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

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.

Which scene was your favorite?

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.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I wanted to savor this book, so I listened to it over 1 1/2 weeks. It was a nice distraction during each day.

Any additional comments?

*I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review*