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Extended Audio Sample The Unquiet Grave Audiobook, by Sharyn McCrumb Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sharyn McCrumb Narrator: Candace Thaxton, Roger Casey Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2017 ISBN: 9781508238942
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From New York Times bestselling author Sharyn McCrumb comes a finely wrought novel set in nineteenth-century West Virginia, based on the true story of one of the strangest murder trials in American history—the case of the Greenbrier Ghost.

Lakin, West Virginia, 1930
Following a suicide attempt and consigned to a segregated insane asylum, attorney James P. D. Gardner finds himself under the care of Dr. James Boozer. Fresh out of medical school, Dr. Boozer is eager to try the new talking cure for insanity, and encourages his elderly patient to reminisce about his experiences as the first black attorney to practice law in nineteenth-century West Virginia. Gardner’s most memorable case was the one in which he helped to defend a white man on trial for the murder of his young bride—a case that the prosecution based on the testimony of a ghost.

Greenbrier, West Virginia, 1897
Beautiful, willful Zona Heaster has always lived in the mountains of West Virginia. Despite her mother’s misgivings, Zona marries Erasmus Trout Shue, the handsome blacksmith who has recently come to Greenbrier County. After weeks of silence from the newlyweds, riders come to the Heasters’ place to tell them that Zona has died from a fall, attributed to a recent illness. Mary Jane is determined to get justice for her daughter. A month after the funeral, she informs the county prosecutor that Zona’s ghost appeared to her, saying that she had been murdered. An autopsy, ordered by the reluctant prosecutor, confirms her claim.

The Greenbrier Ghost is renowned in American folklore, but Sharyn McCrumb is the first author to look beneath the legend to unearth the facts. Using a century of genealogical material and other historical documents, McCrumb reveals new information about the story and brings to life the personalities in the trial: the prosecutor, a former Confederate cavalryman; the defense attorney, a pro-Union bridgeburner, who nevertheless had owned slaves; and the mother of the murdered woman, who doggedly sticks to her ghost story—all seen through the eyes of a young black lawyer on the cusp of a new century, with his own tragedies yet to come.

With its unique blend of masterful research and mesmerizing folklore, illuminating the story’s fascinating and complex characters, The Unquiet Grave confirms Sharyn McCrumb’s place among the finest Southern writers at work today.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “In interconnected stories, narrators Candace Thaxton and Roger Casey give McCrumb’s compelling characters consistent, believable personalities. Casey’s male characters are authentic, including attorney James Gardner…In an equally strong performance, Thaxton completely immerses herself in nineteenth-century West Virginia. She animates each person, especially Mary Jane Heaster…McCrumb’s fascinating research and Thaxton’s and Casey’s top-notch performances make this must-listening. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    AudioFile

  • “This is vintage yarn-spinning. McCrumb hears voices from the grave and kindly passes their messages along.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “McCrumb has a real knack for crafting full-bodied characters and using folklore to construct compelling plots.”

    Booklist

  • “Unquiet indeed.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “In this compelling story, McCrumb continues to relate the dynamic tales of Appalachia and its people.”

    Library Journal

  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
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About the Author
Author Sharyn McCrumb

Sharyn McCrumb is the New York Times bestselling author of The Rosewood Casket, She Walks These Hills, The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter, If I Ever Return, and many more acclaimed novels. Her books have been named Notable Books of the Year by the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, and she has been honored for Outstanding Contribution to Appalachian Literature. Her awards include Best Appalachian Novel, the Agatha, and the Anthony as well as the Edgar Award and the Nero Award. McCrumb is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, and holds an MA in English from Virginia Tech.

About the Narrator

Candace Thaxton is an actress and audiobook narrator. She has starred in several films and television shows, including Ghost Town and Law & Order.