The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter by Sharyn McCrumb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This story is as odd as the several mountain stories that are told within it. Nora Bonesteel has the second sight and she often has the coffee poured and plates of cookies out arleady when the visitor comes up the road. She is the character around whom the story is told although she is not the main character. There is a terrible tragedy and four members of the Underhill family are dead and the remaining two children are dazed and left without kin to take them in. There are several more stories which thread through the book, a young woman's struggle to bear a child, a tragic fire and the sad death of a farmer suffering from fatal cancer from toxic chemicals leached into the stream that runs through his property.
The stories are a window into the Appalacian culture, its strengths and its weaknesses. The characters are vivid and real and the story telling is just as it should be...dark stories of mystery, love and tragedy. This is a wonderful book to sit back and enjoy
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