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Publisher's Summary

A murdered 18th-century pioneer woman and a present-day escaped convict haunt the same Appalachian wilderness in McCrumb's multilayered mystery.
©1994 Sharyn McCrumb (P)1995 Recorded Books, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Vickie
  • Chattanooga, TN, United States
  • 11-11-09

excellent story teller

I am from East Tennessee and having discovered McCrumb feels like a homecoming. My only argument is the seeming concensus (even by characters not familiar with the aging induced by the prison system) that a man of the genetic stock in those mountains in his 60's is ancient. Then I stop to think that the generation I associate with the toughness of these hill people has, indeed, passed. My grandmother could have walked you through those mountains in her 60's - do not doubt it. But, those were heartier people who survived many things that would kill modern folks.

I read the story about Mary the elephant years ago while a student at UT Knoxville and could not listen to that part. At the time I read it, it felt like my soul had been savaged by the savegry that cannot die; it abides in the cruel ignorance of the human spirit, and it is timeless.

I adore Sally Darling's voice. Her voice does not reflect the East Tennessee accent, but I am, quite frankly, glad of that. My East Tennessee accent is rather flat and twangy. Darling's singsong lower Southern accent is beautiful.

McCrumb is a masterful story weaver.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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

An old murder meets the new face of Appalachia.

For those of us who've had to leave the mountains it carries the poignant loss of the land that we love. For others it explains that loss and relates an excellent story. The differences in social class are explored. As are the difficulties of the teen years. Both for those living the normal teen experience as well as those who stepped into adult roles too soon. I did have an issue with the reader. The cultured upper class accent didn't fit well in mouths of poor mountain people. Even with that it was an excellent listening experience.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Beloved Appalachia

I love the mix of Appalachian folklore and fiction in this book though I would prefer an Appalachain dialect from the reader.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

History and mystery combine

Sharyn McCrumb is a gifted author. Her careful research and thoughtful introspective look at morality make her books haunting.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Very Good

I learned much and this book held my attention. It was also nice that a lot of it took place outside.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful