Happy November! Time for Turn the Page...Tuesday hosted by Adrienne of Some of a Kind. A time to share what you have read the last month and find out what others have been reading. Just a warning...it will most certainly add to your long to be read list, but that's okay - we all love recommendations from other readers!
During October I read some perfectly haunting reads!
Ghost on Black Mountain by Ann Hite
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was the perfect October read! Ghost on Black Mountain by author Ann Hite is everything the cover says it is; haunting, eerie, dark and unnerving. Told in the voices of five different women who all have different portions of the story to tell, the author did an excellent job of binding the story together in those separate voices. The story is set in rural depression-era North Carolina, we first meet Nellie, a young girl who, while serving meals in a soup kitche n, meets and falls head over heals for Hobbs Pritchard, a man eight years her senior. Nellie's mama immediately see's that Hobbs is a bad man and what she see's in her tea leaves confirms this fear. Ignoring her mama's warnings, Nellie runs off and marries Hobbs anyway. He immediately moves her to his empty, (or is it?) family home on Black Mountain.
One of my favorite quotes from this early time in the story:
'In the first days of sweet romance, if Hobbs had asked me to jump off a cliff, I would have with a smile on my face. Mama always said, "Nellie, don't love a man too much. A woman should save some feelings back to care for herself."
Nellie soon finds that the people of the mountain both hate and fear Hobbs Pritchard, but she still thinks that her husband must be mis-understood. Soon into the marriage, Hobbs cruel side starts showing itself to Nellie. According to Hobbs, his young wife is dumb, lazy and a horrible cook when in reality, Nellie is none of those things. Right away Nellie starts to see a few of Black Mountains ghosts. There is the woman who seems to live right in Nellie and Hobbs home and the man in the round glasses that is summoning her from outside. Shelley, the young girl who is hired to help Nellie clean the long neglected house, is scared but likes Nellie and slowly starts to give her some hints of Hobbs bad reputation. They say he killed a man here on the mountain and there are stories of the untimely death of his stepmother, along with a few other very disconcerting stories. As Hobbs cruelty to Nellie increases, she trys to find ways to leave, but Hobbs will never let her go. Will the ghosts of Black Mountain aid her? You'll have to read to find out.
I loved this book. It is the authors debut and I will definately be waiting for her next one to be released!
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Seems I spent a lot of time on mountains in Appalachia this past month. My next read was Bloodroot by Amy Greene, set on Bloodroot Mountain....
Bloodroot by Amy Greene
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Bloodroot is a story full of magic and maybe a bit of madness, told by several different generations of the same family as they try to puzzle the story of Myra Lamb together. The author did a fantastic job of telling the story through several different voices and perspectives.
In the beginning we meet Byrdie Lamb, Myra's grandmother. Byrdie tells us about seeing Myra for the first time. The baby born with "Haint Blue Eyes" was thought to have broken the curse that Byrdie's Grandmaw Ruth's cousin had put on the family so many years before. Grandmaw Ruth and her two sisters were "Granny Women", all with their own gifts of healing. Their cousin, Lou Ann, was a Granny Woman also but didn't neccessarily use her gifts for good. When the girls grandfather died and left the best plot of land to Grandmaw Ruth and her sisters, Lou Ann put a curse on them and their family that wouldn't be lifted until a there was a baby born in their line with haint blue eyes. Terrible things started happening right away- husbands and children dyeing, houses burning down- Byrdie was mighty glad when Myra was born with haint blue eyes. Myra's parents were killed when she was just a baby in an accident on the railroad tracks, so Granny Byrdie raised her up on the mountain. Myra loved the mountain but when John Odom from the town at the foot of the mountain came along, Myra followed him without looking back. Myra soon finds out the John and his family are not the people she thought they were. What is that smell of evil that seems to penetrate John's dads house and why is she so uncomfortable around them?
This was another story - a great October read - with a bit of magic, mystery and maybe some murder thrown in. Bloodroot had me turning pages late into the night, antsy to find out what would happen next.
From the back cover:
Myra Lamb is a wild girl with mysterious, haint blue eyes who grows up on remote Bloodroot Mountain. Her grandmother, Byrdie, protects her fiercely and passes down "the touch" that bewitches people and animals alike. But when John Odom tries to tame Myra, it sparks a shocking disaster, ripping lives apart. Bloodroot is the dark and riveting story of the legacies-of magic and madness, faith and secrets, passion and loss-that haunt one family across the generations.
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