Publisher New York : Dutton, c1998.
Part of her Ballad Series, Sharyn McCrumb combines personal history, fiction and the lives of people past and present of Appalachian Tennessee and North Carolina.
Sheriff SpencerArrowood is recovering from wounds when he receives word that a inmate on death row is about to be executed. The sheriff was the principal witness against the prisoner. As time goes on he starts to question the verdict.
Set against modern day Tennessee and North Carolina the tale of a mountain girl convicted and hanged for the murder of her husband in 1823 unfolds.
Frankie Silver was a real person, and her trial and subsequent death continues to raise questions and speculation about her sentence.
The back and forth of timelines eventually makes sense. And in between, McCrumb paints a picture of Appalachia that you can’t help but relate to. Like a lot of people in the Ozarks, my family tree began in this region, and the dialogue reads true. As most good and true hillbillies know, you always lend a hand, but you don’t want to be personally “beholden” .
Readers will be behold to the author of this absorbing tale of murder and mystery.