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She Walks These Hills

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In the Appalachian community of Dark Hollow, Tennessee, some believe that the ghost of Katie Wyler, kidnapped by the Shawnee two hundred years ago, is once again roaming the hills. Only an old woman gifted with "the Sight" and policewoman Martha Ayers can put the superstitions to rest—and stop a flesh-and-blood predator as elusive as the whistling wind... In the Appalachian community of Dark Hollow, Tennessee, some believe that the ghost of Katie Wyler, kidnapped by the Shawnee two hundred years ago, is once again roaming the hills. Only an old woman gifted with "the Sight" and policewoman Martha Ayers can put the superstitions to rest—and stop a flesh-and-blood predator as elusive as the whistling wind...


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In the Appalachian community of Dark Hollow, Tennessee, some believe that the ghost of Katie Wyler, kidnapped by the Shawnee two hundred years ago, is once again roaming the hills. Only an old woman gifted with "the Sight" and policewoman Martha Ayers can put the superstitions to rest—and stop a flesh-and-blood predator as elusive as the whistling wind... In the Appalachian community of Dark Hollow, Tennessee, some believe that the ghost of Katie Wyler, kidnapped by the Shawnee two hundred years ago, is once again roaming the hills. Only an old woman gifted with "the Sight" and policewoman Martha Ayers can put the superstitions to rest—and stop a flesh-and-blood predator as elusive as the whistling wind...

30 review for She Walks These Hills

  1. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    I cried at the end. This was an atmospheric tale and I loved it. My favorite character was Martha. I loved how the author fully emerges the reader in the folklore and the landscape and then, connects us with the characters. Once we're hooked, the action begins. Favorite passages: I loved the author's description of the landscape around Ashe Mountain in September, which places me right there in the midst of it all: "the sharp chill of the lengthening nights and the dulling of the asters as they shr I cried at the end. This was an atmospheric tale and I loved it. My favorite character was Martha. I loved how the author fully emerges the reader in the folklore and the landscape and then, connects us with the characters. Once we're hooked, the action begins. Favorite passages: I loved the author's description of the landscape around Ashe Mountain in September, which places me right there in the midst of it all: "the sharp chill of the lengthening nights and the dulling of the asters as they shrank from the slanting light of a fading season. For now the landscape was still bosky: woods glowing deep green, fields bronzed with hay, and orchards apple-laden on the hillsides. Soon the autumn chill would turn the mountains to flame, shading each ridge a different color." I also loved that I learned about folklore and something new about geology, which I found deeply touching. A geologist had given her mother a symbolic gift of a serpentine necklace and she goes on to explain its significance: "Serpentine is a light green rock, sort of like jade. There's a vein of it that runs all the way along the Appalachians from Georgia up through eastern Canada. Then it stops. But if you look in the mountains of Scotland, you find it again. See it's a connection."

  2. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I love books with strong plots, and the architecture of McCrumb's novel has an admirable set of relationships between past and present. The foundation of her novel is based on the legend of Katie Wyler, an 18th century settler, captured and held by the Shawnee until she escaped and walked miles and miles home (roughly from Morgantown to Ashville)in hopes of reconnecting with her people. McCrumb juxtaposes this tale with several characters who live in Appalachia in the late 20th Century. Each con I love books with strong plots, and the architecture of McCrumb's novel has an admirable set of relationships between past and present. The foundation of her novel is based on the legend of Katie Wyler, an 18th century settler, captured and held by the Shawnee until she escaped and walked miles and miles home (roughly from Morgantown to Ashville)in hopes of reconnecting with her people. McCrumb juxtaposes this tale with several characters who live in Appalachia in the late 20th Century. Each contemporary tale expands and elevates the themes of the legend, showing how people today "walk these hills," still struggling with many of the same hardships and sorrows as Katie. McCrumb uses research and her insider's knowledge of Appalachia to create a novel that conveys some of the complexities of this region's landscape and heritage. She imbeds these facts within a compelling mystery--actually five mysteries: one about Katie, one about Harm, one about Rita, one about Martha, and one about Sabrina. By the end of the novel, McCrumb reveals startling secrets about each of these five characters, each secret making sense within the subsequent attitudes and behaviors in their own lives but also showing connecting themes with several others' lives--and with the landscape as well. On the surface, this book looks like pulp fiction, but if you look closely at this book, like cabin in the holler, it's adorned with remarkable craftmanship.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Weingarten

    I'll admit to having been disappointed when McCrumb segued into her NASCAR books, but understand the desire to evolve. Of her many ballad books I loved this one most because of the way that she wove together the history, the mystery and the ghost stories. Beautifully written and a well made statement about women's roles in the past and present. I'll admit to having been disappointed when McCrumb segued into her NASCAR books, but understand the desire to evolve. Of her many ballad books I loved this one most because of the way that she wove together the history, the mystery and the ghost stories. Beautifully written and a well made statement about women's roles in the past and present.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    Harm Sorley has gone a little crazy in prison. Either the alcohol or the confinement, mostly likely both, has got him confused about where - and when - he is. But not so confused that he couldn't escape and start heading for the only home he's ever known, in the country hills of Tennessee. But much more time has passed than Harm realizes. His beautiful wife and baby daughter are almost 40 years older. The land has changed. And Harm himself has changed too. His wife, remarried now to a 'respectable Harm Sorley has gone a little crazy in prison. Either the alcohol or the confinement, mostly likely both, has got him confused about where - and when - he is. But not so confused that he couldn't escape and start heading for the only home he's ever known, in the country hills of Tennessee. But much more time has passed than Harm realizes. His beautiful wife and baby daughter are almost 40 years older. The land has changed. And Harm himself has changed too. His wife, remarried now to a 'respectable' sort of man, isn't afraid of him at all. But local law enforcement don't know whether to take his disappearance as a joke or a menace. They've got other things to deal with, like patrolling high school football games, dealing with domestic disputes, and personnel issues. And then some graduate student gets a goofy idea to trace the footsteps of a long-lost pioneer woman who escaped her Indian captors and made her way back home. His effort might have been helped if he hadn't packed everything he might possibly have needed and bought brand new hiking boots before he left. I loved the way McCrumb wove all these separate strands into a rich and moving story. It really helped that I have seen this land, and hiked (OK, not for long!) along a part of the trail, and seen what the land has to offer. Poetic and tragic and suspenseful all at the same time. 5 stars.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    There are more people walking the woods of these hills than coyotes howling at the moon. Having walked some of the trails in the Appalachian Mountain region of our great country, it was a treat to recall my own appreciation for the beauty of this land. This story covers three different time periods. The ghost of Katie Wyler, a pioneer woman is from the late 1700's. We have Hiram (Harm) Sorley, a 65 year old escaped convict who's memory is stuck in the 1960's. Then comes present day with Jeremy C There are more people walking the woods of these hills than coyotes howling at the moon. Having walked some of the trails in the Appalachian Mountain region of our great country, it was a treat to recall my own appreciation for the beauty of this land. This story covers three different time periods. The ghost of Katie Wyler, a pioneer woman is from the late 1700's. We have Hiram (Harm) Sorley, a 65 year old escaped convict who's memory is stuck in the 1960's. Then comes present day with Jeremy Cobb, a university professor who is determined to retrace the Katie Wyler escape from the Indians route. Hank the Yank adds humor as a local DJ originating from "up north way". Thats the short list of a most memorable cast of characters. There are many, But you'll have no trouble keeping them all straight because the author has done an exemplary job of writing this story. I always find that I am never disappointed when I pick up a book about mountain people. The folklore of these uncomplicated people who would rather live poor and free than become "prosperous" in the lowlands of the big cities delivers a satisfying, often educational read. It is a return to when living close to the land held true meaning. I really liked this book. It's my first by this author, I'll seek out more in the future.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Janon

    I love all of McCrumb's ballad series. Not necessarily the best writing, nor the most intriguing mysteries, but the way that she weaves together the stories behind each of the folk ballads with the modern-time happenings is just...magic to me. I love all of McCrumb's ballad series. Not necessarily the best writing, nor the most intriguing mysteries, but the way that she weaves together the stories behind each of the folk ballads with the modern-time happenings is just...magic to me.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Leila

    This puts a realistic picture of Appalachian life for us who might want to think of it romantically.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bettie

    (view spoiler)[ Bettie's Books (hide spoiler)] (view spoiler)[ Bettie's Books (hide spoiler)]

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bon

    Not enough of the ghost, but some fascinating lore of the area. I'd never heard of the Melungeon ethnic group either! Not enough of the ghost, but some fascinating lore of the area. I'd never heard of the Melungeon ethnic group either!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sezín Koehler

    An absolutely charming story about Appalachia, weaving history together with the present and giving a gorgeous portrait of life in one of the oldest and untouched parts of America.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Angelique Simonsen

    Gosh I love these! Just a damn good story with damn good writing!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jessi

    This was an alright story. It is about many different people in a small town in the Appalations(sp?) and their connection to each other. There is an elderly escaped convict, a middle aged woman dispatcher who wants to be a deputy(and feels the need to explain this on every friggen level), a history Student who tries to walk the 200 year old trail of a girl who escaped the indians and maybe a ghost. There is also a of a radio dj(who really bugged me, but I don't like radio dj's so thats a Jessi t This was an alright story. It is about many different people in a small town in the Appalations(sp?) and their connection to each other. There is an elderly escaped convict, a middle aged woman dispatcher who wants to be a deputy(and feels the need to explain this on every friggen level), a history Student who tries to walk the 200 year old trail of a girl who escaped the indians and maybe a ghost. There is also a of a radio dj(who really bugged me, but I don't like radio dj's so thats a Jessi thing I guess) who tries to solve an old murder case. All these story interconnect and I found the author did a great job of going from storyline to storyline.But there was not one character I liked not one, they were well developed but I was not interested in them in the least,some I found pathetic, others I could not follow their motivations for anything. The reason I gave this 3 stars instead of 2 is the description of the land itself was perfect and maybe I enjoyed it more then usual because of my dislike for anyone in the book,but the mountains,forsets and the highways,McCrumb painted a fantastic picture of the setting and that is what kept me going through this one.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    I originally read this as the Common Book for my freshman year in college. At the time, I was unimpressed in part because we read from a copy with a typical "supermarket" format that guided my expectations before I ever opened the book. To be honest, watching and hearing about McCrumb's interactions with people on campus didn't help. I recently read another of her books at the recommendation of a colleague and came back to this one because it seemed to fit some themes for a course I'll be teachin I originally read this as the Common Book for my freshman year in college. At the time, I was unimpressed in part because we read from a copy with a typical "supermarket" format that guided my expectations before I ever opened the book. To be honest, watching and hearing about McCrumb's interactions with people on campus didn't help. I recently read another of her books at the recommendation of a colleague and came back to this one because it seemed to fit some themes for a course I'll be teaching this fall. As I might have expected, it's much better than my eighteen-year-old self thought. The characters are convincing, the plots are well-woven, and the novel takes up themes that continue to be significant in a number of ways. Like many other things I thought I was beyond back then, this novel is something I should have trusted my awesome professors about.

  14. 4 out of 5

    A.L.

    The strength of this book is the author's obvious knowledge, and love for, Appalachia. Her vivid descriptions of the mountains and hollers, and her engrossing characters make you feel as if you've stepped out of your home and into a small town, deep in the mountains. I truly enjoyed getting to know the folks in Dark Hollow, Tennessee. (Particularly the DJ, "Hank the Yank" - he made me laugh out loud!) I give the book only 3 stars because the author's use of point of view during the story was not The strength of this book is the author's obvious knowledge, and love for, Appalachia. Her vivid descriptions of the mountains and hollers, and her engrossing characters make you feel as if you've stepped out of your home and into a small town, deep in the mountains. I truly enjoyed getting to know the folks in Dark Hollow, Tennessee. (Particularly the DJ, "Hank the Yank" - he made me laugh out loud!) I give the book only 3 stars because the author's use of point of view during the story was not my favorite - you may feel differently. Also, I had trouble with the character "Martha." She seemed to change too drastically to be believable - perhaps if I experienced what she experienced I would change that way too...? If you like Appalachian stories, I recommend this one for light, summer reading.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chip

    "Haunting terror and suspense" is written on the front cover of my copy of She Walks These Hills. In my opinion, this statement could not be further from the truth. In no sense did I find it terrifying. A ghostly apparition was mentioned a handful of times in passing, but nothing even remotely scary came of it. In short, I was expecting a frightening ghost story. Instead, I got a crime fiction... and a very good one! I found She Walks These Hills to be a captivating story that I couldn't help bu "Haunting terror and suspense" is written on the front cover of my copy of She Walks These Hills. In my opinion, this statement could not be further from the truth. In no sense did I find it terrifying. A ghostly apparition was mentioned a handful of times in passing, but nothing even remotely scary came of it. In short, I was expecting a frightening ghost story. Instead, I got a crime fiction... and a very good one! I found She Walks These Hills to be a captivating story that I couldn't help but continue reading, even if it was 3:00 am and I was tired out of my wits. A great story, but nevertheless somewhat of a misrepresentation: If you want a haunting ghost story that terrifies you to the point of not being able to fall asleep, She Walks These Hills is not what you're looking for. If you're looking for a good, original crime fiction novel, then it's right up your alley.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Maskus

    An interesting story set in the Tennessee/North Carolina mountains about mountain living. I really liked the parallel stories of the young woman escaping from Indians in 1700's and the 60+ prison escapee. The story has many memorable characters which interweave into the main story. The few pages about the honor student who kills himself after a football game ties into the mountain mentality. The traditions concerning death, love, and life seem silly, but are essential to survival. Once I started An interesting story set in the Tennessee/North Carolina mountains about mountain living. I really liked the parallel stories of the young woman escaping from Indians in 1700's and the 60+ prison escapee. The story has many memorable characters which interweave into the main story. The few pages about the honor student who kills himself after a football game ties into the mountain mentality. The traditions concerning death, love, and life seem silly, but are essential to survival. Once I started reading, I could not stop.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dennis Fischman

    A truly chilling and deeply sad story about women and men, then and now. As always with this series, the moral landscape is as gorgeous and as treacherous as the mountains.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mary Robinson

    Fantastic mystery set in Appalachian Mountains in the early 1990s. Setting and atmosphere are beautifully described - and it has a great cast of characters. The main female character is transitioning from working as a sheriff’s dispatcher to being the first woman deputy and it’s fun to watch her development.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Solomong

    I like the way the author weaves the stories together in this book. It gets better and better.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Danna

    A number of books on my currently-reading list are en route to the library I use, so I picked this one up off my snack pile to read in the mean time. (Snack pile: a stack of second-hand books I haven't read yet that seem like entertaining quick-reads.) Noticing other Goodreads reviews, I was intrigued and did a bit of digging online. Behold the power of learning more about the thing you're reading: http://www.sharynmccrumb.com. Knowing the author's motives and the intent behind her stories has i A number of books on my currently-reading list are en route to the library I use, so I picked this one up off my snack pile to read in the mean time. (Snack pile: a stack of second-hand books I haven't read yet that seem like entertaining quick-reads.) Noticing other Goodreads reviews, I was intrigued and did a bit of digging online. Behold the power of learning more about the thing you're reading: http://www.sharynmccrumb.com. Knowing the author's motives and the intent behind her stories has inspired me to pay more attention to this book and has bumped it up a notch on my Snack Scale... [This part has been edited now that I've finished it. I thought the characters were two-dimensional, the relationship drama particularly irritating, and the plot predictable. And yet I read the whole thing, turning pages like eating potato chips. Back now to the babbling about other mystery authors.] Nevada Barr's books are action-adventure murder mysteries in which the main character is a female park ranger, and each book takes place in a different National Park. The plot formula isn't unique, but I enjoy her sense of place and her obvious love for the Park system despite its many flaws, which I'm glad she's unafraid to address. While I'm yammering on about mysteries here: I'm not overly fond of what might be called "traditional whodunits" (ie: Agatha Christie) but I adore Anne Perry's Inspector Monk series, set in 1850's England. Absolutely engaging! I'd rank her right up there with Ms. Christie in talent. (Add to that her morbidly fascinating past; Peter Jackson's "Heavenly Creatures" was based on her childhood.) Barbara Hambly (at first a writer of fantasy and vampire novels that were oh so popular when I was in high school) has a good historical-mystery series about Benjamin January, "A Free Man of Color" (as the first book is titled), set in 1830's New Orleans.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Beverly

    I read this for my Mystery Book Club discussion for this week. When I first finished it this morning, I was on my way to another book club. I rated it 4 stars and didn't have time to write this actual review. So between then and now, I've changed my mind and decided that I loved the book and had to up my stars to 5. This is the 3rd book in this series and I hate to read out of order but I didn't have time to read the first two prior to this one so I don't know if there are repeating characters a I read this for my Mystery Book Club discussion for this week. When I first finished it this morning, I was on my way to another book club. I rated it 4 stars and didn't have time to write this actual review. So between then and now, I've changed my mind and decided that I loved the book and had to up my stars to 5. This is the 3rd book in this series and I hate to read out of order but I didn't have time to read the first two prior to this one so I don't know if there are repeating characters and/or additional background that might have had an impact on my opinions. I just know that I truly loved the way Ms. McCrumb presented the folks in this tale, whether born and bred hillbillies or wealthy town residents. Harm Sorley is 63 year old man who has been in prison for 30 some years for killing a man with an ax. He suffers from Korsakoff's syndrome which means his memory is gone and he believes he's still a young man with a wife and a baby girl. He manages to escape from the prison and is making his way home. When the residents of his area of the mountain realize that a "killer" is on the loose, they start over-reacting while the local radio host is selling bumper stickers to fund a legal defense for Harm. Harm's ex-wife is now living in a beautiful home with her new husband who doesn't want anyone to know of her "hillbilly" origins. His daughter is now a successful geologist. While all of this is going on, a young historian has decided to retrace the trail of Katie Wyler who was kidnapped by Indians in 1779 but was able to escape and find her way home. By the end of the book half a dozen residents from the area were roaming around in the wilds of the Appalachians for one reason and another. I thought the author did a great job of creating the proper atmosphere for this story, fleshing out the characters and keeping the reader turning pages. I just thought this was a great read and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    A friend loaned me this book as it takes place in a fictional Tennessee town (Hamelin) on the border of North Carolina (Asheville--a real place!) where we will soon be moving. I really enjoyed the book and found myself up late into night reading the next chapter (and then the next). To me that is a sign of good fiction. The book tells the story of a small town filled with many mountain people (referred to as hillbillies in the book) who have their own legends and customs. The mountain person cul A friend loaned me this book as it takes place in a fictional Tennessee town (Hamelin) on the border of North Carolina (Asheville--a real place!) where we will soon be moving. I really enjoyed the book and found myself up late into night reading the next chapter (and then the next). To me that is a sign of good fiction. The book tells the story of a small town filled with many mountain people (referred to as hillbillies in the book) who have their own legends and customs. The mountain person culture clashes with the other characters--a deputy, the sheriff, a graduate student from Virginia Tech, and Connecticut transplant radio personality--as they all try to find an escaped convince (a 63 year old mountain person with some form of dementia referred to in the book as Korsakoff's Syndrome).There are many subplots that develop along the way and ring true to life (the graduate student who is trying to forget her"hillbilly roots," the struggling female dispatcher who wants to better herself in a sexist workplace and finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her, the Connecticut radio transplant who has no understanding of the south or the culture he lives in). There are many sympathetic characters and most characters in the book stumble along trying to do the right thing. Of course there is a murder and some mysticism thrown in (so not everyone is good in this book). I got the biggest kick out of the naive Virginia Tech graduate student hiking through the mountains completely unprepared in order to obtain research for his dissentation. As a college professor I could relate to his plight (hopefully I'm not that naive, but you never know). I recommend this book as a work of light fiction that transports you to a different culture (Appalachia) with some solid characters.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dee

    I wanted to read a book by Sharyn McCrumb because I met her years ago and liked her. This book is set in Appalachian country. There were many characters to keep track of, and the story line switched characters every few paragraghs or pages. There was Martha Ayers, a wanna-be deputy, her long-time live-in boyfriend, Joe LeDonne, who was already a deputy. Part of the storyline follows a 30-year-old murder of Claib Maggard, supposedly by Hiram Sorely, also known as Harm, who has just escaped from pris I wanted to read a book by Sharyn McCrumb because I met her years ago and liked her. This book is set in Appalachian country. There were many characters to keep track of, and the story line switched characters every few paragraghs or pages. There was Martha Ayers, a wanna-be deputy, her long-time live-in boyfriend, Joe LeDonne, who was already a deputy. Part of the storyline follows a 30-year-old murder of Claib Maggard, supposedly by Hiram Sorely, also known as Harm, who has just escaped from prison. "Harm's" ex-wife, Rita, is now married to Euell Pentland. The old, wise mountain woman, Nora Bonesteel, who had "the sight" was a really interesting character. I would have liked more about her in the book. Another storyline was about Katie Wyler, kidnapped by the Shawnee Indians centuries ago, who "still walked those hills". Teacher and historian, Jeremy Cobb, who hitchiked part of the Appalachain Trail retracing some of Katie Wyler's journey home when she escaped the Shawnee Indians. There were at least 8 or 9 others characters to try and keep track of. Wow! One Appalachian phrase was interesting, "the hawk is flying low tonight" meaning it's really cold outside.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lois

    A gaggle of police officers in the East Tennessee mountains deals with a particularly Appalachian crime wave. The struggles of women, past and present, riffle through the story as the river meanders through the mountains-- sometimes showing a clear way home, but more often, not. The men are mostly baffled, misled or self-deluded by their machismo. The exception being Sheriff Spencer Arrowood, who is clear and consistent and humble enough. "Follow the River" by Thom has long been one of my favori A gaggle of police officers in the East Tennessee mountains deals with a particularly Appalachian crime wave. The struggles of women, past and present, riffle through the story as the river meanders through the mountains-- sometimes showing a clear way home, but more often, not. The men are mostly baffled, misled or self-deluded by their machismo. The exception being Sheriff Spencer Arrowood, who is clear and consistent and humble enough. "Follow the River" by Thom has long been one of my favorite books, and this member of McCrumb's 'Ballad' series honors it by using some of Mary Draper Ingles story to flesh out the specter of Katie Wyler. The 'Ballad' novels blend the mundane and supernatural worlds through the intermediary of Nora Bonsteel, a modern day senior with 'the sight'. So there are many stories wrapped into one package which is neatly tied up by the story's conclusion. A fairly light, but very action-packed and thoroughly entertaining read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Lewis

    I read this book for our book club at our library. We all agreed that it was a pretty good book. This book is about many different people and their connection to each other. You have a 63 year old escaped convict, a female dispatcher who wants to be a deputy, a ghost, a history professor who tries to walk the 200 year old trail of a girl who escaped the indians, an old woman who has "the sight", a radio dj who tries to solve an old murder, and many more. Some might say she has too many character I read this book for our book club at our library. We all agreed that it was a pretty good book. This book is about many different people and their connection to each other. You have a 63 year old escaped convict, a female dispatcher who wants to be a deputy, a ghost, a history professor who tries to walk the 200 year old trail of a girl who escaped the indians, an old woman who has "the sight", a radio dj who tries to solve an old murder, and many more. Some might say she has too many characters in one story. It is not like anything I've ever read before, which is refeshing. This book is full of suspence and entertainment with a little history thrown in. I will definitly try another of Sharyn McCrumb's books.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Melanti

    With every book of this series that I read, I fall in love with the series a bit more. The connecting theme of this book is journeying of various people (mostly females, including the land itself) trying to head home, and often finding a betrayal or unhappiness at the end of a journey. I love how McCrumb takes several similar stories from the same town at the same time and interweaves them so they're being told all at the same time - and all progressing at about the same pace. It reminds me of inc With every book of this series that I read, I fall in love with the series a bit more. The connecting theme of this book is journeying of various people (mostly females, including the land itself) trying to head home, and often finding a betrayal or unhappiness at the end of a journey. I love how McCrumb takes several similar stories from the same town at the same time and interweaves them so they're being told all at the same time - and all progressing at about the same pace. It reminds me of incremental repetition in ballads - how verses repeat with a couple words or details changed each time. Fitting, since they're the "Ballad Mysteries." There's a lot of characters, and a lot going on at the same time, but I love how perfectly it all fits together.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Here is another book that was reviewed, but I can not seem to find that review anywhere on GR. I read this right after I finished the first Ballad book. I didn't have much interest in reading this but it was on my shelf and I wanted to get it out of the way so that my book case was purged of any McCrumb novels. I liked this book better than I did If Ever I Return, pretty Peggy-O but not by much. The story and characters held my interest a bit more and the story-line didn't drag as badly as book # Here is another book that was reviewed, but I can not seem to find that review anywhere on GR. I read this right after I finished the first Ballad book. I didn't have much interest in reading this but it was on my shelf and I wanted to get it out of the way so that my book case was purged of any McCrumb novels. I liked this book better than I did If Ever I Return, pretty Peggy-O but not by much. The story and characters held my interest a bit more and the story-line didn't drag as badly as book #1. This was the last McCrumb novel that I have read and I think that it will most likely hold that title for quite some time.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Holly Morey

    This is the 3rd book in the Ballad series that I have read and I loved it. The story revolves around a young woman in the 1700s, who was kidnapped by Indians, and an older man in the 1990s, who escaped from prison. Sharyn McCrumb intertwines the stories beautifully. The characters are well written and the description of the scenery and landscape made me feel like I was hiking in the mountains. What I loved about the book was the various story lines, each one with a small twist, some expected and This is the 3rd book in the Ballad series that I have read and I loved it. The story revolves around a young woman in the 1700s, who was kidnapped by Indians, and an older man in the 1990s, who escaped from prison. Sharyn McCrumb intertwines the stories beautifully. The characters are well written and the description of the scenery and landscape made me feel like I was hiking in the mountains. What I loved about the book was the various story lines, each one with a small twist, some expected and some surprising. To me this book is a classic story of life in the appalachian and smokey mountains.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Pierce

    Sharon McCrumb has roots in the Smokey Mountains. This book is partly about a young woman who was taken by the Indians from her family in the hills. She escapes and her ghost walks the hills. A professor of local history decides to hike her route of escape. He doesn't know anything about hiking and the timing is bad. The local police are also looking for an escaped prisoner who is serving a life sentence for a brutal murder many years ago. He is trying to get home and be with his wife and baby w Sharon McCrumb has roots in the Smokey Mountains. This book is partly about a young woman who was taken by the Indians from her family in the hills. She escapes and her ghost walks the hills. A professor of local history decides to hike her route of escape. He doesn't know anything about hiking and the timing is bad. The local police are also looking for an escaped prisoner who is serving a life sentence for a brutal murder many years ago. He is trying to get home and be with his wife and baby who is grown now. Sharon has written other books like this and they are all interesting and enjoyable.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Luseride

    This is one of the first of the Ballad novels that I read by Mrs. McCrumb and it still my favorite. All stories to not have happy endings and sometimes things fall apart, but that is the way of life. An escaped convict, a graduate student searching for answers to this dissertation on Katie Wilder, a lady that sees more than most, a new deputy, relationships, new, broken, and found again, the threads are all interwoven and connected well. I really love the excerpts from the Tennessee Methodist Hymn This is one of the first of the Ballad novels that I read by Mrs. McCrumb and it still my favorite. All stories to not have happy endings and sometimes things fall apart, but that is the way of life. An escaped convict, a graduate student searching for answers to this dissertation on Katie Wilder, a lady that sees more than most, a new deputy, relationships, new, broken, and found again, the threads are all interwoven and connected well. I really love the excerpts from the Tennessee Methodist Hymnal which fit each chapter so very well. The best part of any Ballad novel is they stand alone but in many some of the same characters appear so it is like meeting old friends.

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