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Prayers the Devil Answers: A Novel
Prayers the Devil Answers: A Novel
Prayers the Devil Answers: A Novel
Аудиокнига10 часов

Prayers the Devil Answers: A Novel

Написано Sharyn McCrumb

Озвучено Candace Thaxton

Рейтинг: 3.5 из 5 звезд

3.5/5

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Об этой аудиокниге

Sharyn McCrumb, New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Ballad series, examines one of the most famous public executions in US history in her stunning and powerfully written Depression-era novel.

Years later, after the tragedy, someone remembered the Dumb Supper and what had happened there. That was the cause of it, they said, because the ritual wasn't a game after all. It really was magic, but magic has rules, and she broke them.

Suddenly thrust into the role of primary caretaker for her family following the tragic death of her husband, Ellie Robbins is appointed to serve out his term as sheriff of their rural Tennessee mountain town. The year is 1936, and her role is largely symbolic, except for the one task that only a sheriff can do: execute a convicted prisoner.

Ellie has long proven she can handle herself. But becoming sheriff is altogether different, and the demands of the role are even more challenging when she is forced to combat society's expectations for a woman. Soon enough, dark secrets come to light, and Ellie must grapple with small town superstitions and the tenuous ties she shares with a condemned killer as she carves out a place for herself in an uncertain future.

"There is no one quite like Sharyn McCrumb. No one better either" (San Diego Union-Tribune), and her luscious narrative brings her unforgettable characters to life with the "pure poetry" (The New York Times Book Review) that defines her astounding novels. Prayers the Devil Answers combines masterful historical research and captivating folklore to make an atmospheric and suspenseful tour de force.
ЯзыкEnglish
ИздательSimon & Schuster Audio
Дата выпуска10 мая 2016 г.
ISBN9781442397484
Автор

Sharyn McCrumb

SHARYN MCCRUMB is the author of The Rosewood Casket, She Walks These Hills and many other acclaimed novels. Her books have been named Notable Books of the Year by the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. She was named a “Virginia Woman of History” for Achievement in Literature in 2008. She lives and writes in the Virginia Blue Ridge, less than a hundred miles from where her family settled in 1790 in the Smoky Mountains that divide North Carolina and Tennessee.

Другие книги автора: Sharyn Mc Crumb

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Отзывы о Prayers the Devil Answers

Рейтинг: 3.282608695652174 из 5 звезд
3.5/5

46 оценок14 отзывов

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  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    Excellent book--lots of pathos and a true page turner. Could not put it down. Based on a real life female sherriff story.
  • Рейтинг: 3 из 5 звезд
    3/5
    I loved this authors earlier books and the Nora Bonesteel and Sheriff series were just books that I'll always think of when reading anything by Sharyn now. Although this book started off interesting for me it just dragged and I really had to buckle down to finish it.
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    A wonderful work of historical fiction. Set in the Southern mountains, as most of McCrumbs works are, this is the story of a young woman whose husband is the sheriff of a small town. Having moved there from the mountains, Ellie feels a little out of her element. She is used to keeping to herself, and she finds it difficult to interact with strangers, but when her husband unexpectedly dies, she ask the city commissioners to allow her to complete his term s sheriff. Out of pity for a widow with two small boys, they agree, but the job has unexpected duties that leave everyone, even Ellie, wondering if she can carry out the duties of the office. In addition to a wonderful story, an atmospheric setting, and beautiful writing, his novel has a lovely twist at the end. I really liked this book!
  • Рейтинг: 3 из 5 звезд
    3/5
    Sharyn McCrumb weaves a story rich in folklore and relationships. This tale centers on Ellie Robbins a young woman with two young sons and a husband who becomes the county sheriff. The Depression Era darkens the Tennessee mountains, and most people barely eke a living. A young husband pushes his wife over a mountain edge, but two people witness the crime and apprehend the criminal. The story begins and end with the folklore tradition of the Dumb Supper that predicted the events that happened. I greatly admired the common-sense approach of Ellie Robbins, but felt appalled at Ellie's act at the end of the book. Sharyn McCrumb speaks of the beauty of the land and the strong ties of kinship and the balance of justice, sometimes with bias.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    This book was somewhat slow to start but in the end I loved it.
  • Рейтинг: 3 из 5 звезд
    3/5
    This is book is very slow going. The first half of the book I felt could have been condensed into 50 pages. The characters didn't seem very vivid to me, and Ellandor, the main character, was rather one dimensional. There's a ton of repetition of phrases which I found odd and thought that the editor should have done a better job with it. The story about a woman sheriff having to perform an execution was an interesting premise, but she just didn't seem like a strong person. Overall, I was sort of bored by a lot of this book, but the conclusion was tolerably interesting to make it worth a quick read.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    PRAYERS THE DEVIL ANSWERS paints a realistic picture of what life was like in the Appalachian Mountains during the Depression. It certainly wasn't easy, especially for a young widow trying to feed two growing boys like the main character, Ellie Robbins. Her husband was the town's sheriff, and when he dies suddenly, Ellie decides to finish out his term. Thinking that the job would be mostly paperwork, Ellie is put to the test when there's a murder in her jurisdiction, and she's faced with carrying out the convicted killer's execution. Overall, I liked the book. I enjoyed how it wove traditions and history of that region into the story. I especially liked Ellie's character and the challenges she faced as a rare "lady sheriff." She was tough and knew how to handle herself. The book opens with a tale of a "dumb supper," and it's there that we meet Celia, who later becomes a schoolteacher. And then there's Lonnie, a struggling artist who lands a job in town. Were their fates decided on the night of the dumb supper?The plot was a bit slow moving, and the three storylines seemed to have trouble coming together, but I was still intrigued by the book (which is based on a true story). It definitely made me curious about Sharyn McCrumb's other novels - this was the first I've read. 3.75 stars.The audiobook was narrated by Candace Thaxton (a favorite narrator of mine), and she captured Ellie's stoic, nonsense demeanor very well. Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    I like Sharyn McCrumb's novels for the slice of America she brings back to mind. It's been a long time since I read one of her books, and picked this up solely because of her name, but quickly became drawn into the story of a Depression-era widow who takes on the job of her dead husband, to become sheriff of a small mountain town in Tennessee. McCrumb took an actual historic event, woman sheriff presiding over the execution of a prisoner, and skillfully built the novel around it. As always, her careful crafting of story, intertwined with the folklore, customs, and beliefs of the day, made for a good read.2016-read, an-author-i-read, made-me-look-something-up, read, taught-me-something, thank-you-charleston-county-library
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    The author is a longtime expert chronicler of life in the Appalachians, and many of her books center around a true event or crime. In this fine novel, she draws upon the last public hanging performed in the South for her character of Ellie, a female sheriff, who fights for her job and to support her children after her husband, the former sheriff, dies from pneumonia. Set in the Great Depression, a story running parallel is that of an itinerant painter who is hired to create a historical mural on the wall of the post office (many old post offices around the US have such glorious artworks). Tragedies occur, or as some superstitious residents claim, fate intervenes, and the difficult lives of the sheriff and the painter collide. The speech, action, rhythms, and especially the secondary characters, give a complete feel for the mountains and the hard times. If you are familiar with Ron Rash, one of my favorite writers, you'll feel most comfortable with Sharyn McCrumb. They are like paired oxen, efficient in the strength of their writing labors and most comparable and compatible.
  • Рейтинг: 3 из 5 звезд
    3/5
    Set in the Appalachian mountains, this period piece is the return of McCrumb to her mountain stories. I loved her Ballad series but found this one to be a slow moving though extremely atmospheric effort. The Halloween Dumb Supper, folklore has it that if everything is done right, the young women in attendance will see the man they will eventually married. But for one young woman, a misstep in the tradition may have serious repercussions, a curse if you will, later in life. Is this possible?When Ellandor's husband, the local sheriff dies, leaving her with two young sons and no way to provide for them, she asks to be appointed to finish out the remainder of her husband's term. The commissioner's agree and she will find herself tasked with something she never expected. Parts of this story were interesting, a woman sheriff in these times, her deputies who supported her, all made for good reading. But, the different threads of this story were just not cohesive, not tightly drawn or not drawn enough to have an impact. Tenuous connections, maybe. So while I liked it, I didn't love it. It was not one of those books that kept you reading because you didn't want to put it down. It was a slow unfolding of a set of circumstances that would have a huge effect on many. Did love the end though, a bit nasty but sometimes the act is fitting.ARC from publisher.
  • Рейтинг: 3 из 5 звезд
    3/5
    Love all of her books, but was disappointed in this one. Seemed to drag on, not as colorful as her other books.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    Sharyn McCrumb's “Prayers the Devil Answers” has a murder, but no mystery. The man who pushes his wife from a cliff fails to notice he has two witnesses. He makes no attempt to escape and offers no defense at his trial. He goes to the gallows without protest. So where lies the drama, where the suspense? It turns out there is drama and suspense aplenty, just not where one might expect to find it.McCrumb focuses mostly on a young woman named Ellie Robbins, who with her husband and two sons comes down from the Appalachian hills to try their luck in town. It is 1936, the Depression is at its worst and jobs are hard to come by. Her husband, however, manages to win an election for sheriff. He doesn't hold the office long, however, before he becomes sick and dies.The author prolongs his death, perhaps longer than necessary, yet these pages may be the most powerful and most moving in the novel. She takes us into Ellie's mind, showing us how her husband's illness and then his death impacts her in so many ways. Later, a terribly introverted woman, she must bear up under the strain when people, many of whom she barely knows, come to the house to offer sympathy and bring food. She has no idea what to say and only wants to see them gone.Then comes the question of how she will support her boys. She hits on the idea of asking the county commissioners to appoint her sheriff until a new election can be held. Strangely, nobody else wants the job, and so this timid young woman is sworn in as county sheriff. Mostly she just acts as administrator and handles the paperwork, something she already did for her husband. Then the young man murders his wife and is condemned to death by hanging. And she learns state law requires the sheriff to be executioner. (The novel is loosely based on an actual case in Kentucky in 1936.)Complications abound. Relatives want to take her children away from her. Reporters come from all over, making the female sheriff, not the condemned man, their story. She discovers her husband was not quite the man she had believed him to be. She had gotten what she wanted, to be made sheriff, but she has to wonder if it was really God who answered her prayer.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    Ellendor Robbins is a wife and mother in the Appalachian Mountains in 1936. When her husband unexpectedly dies, she’s faced with raising her two young sons alone. She must decide whether to return to her brother-in-law’s home as a charity relative or try to take on her husband’s job, which was sheriff of their town. Ellie is a courageous, independent woman and since the job is mostly paperwork and she’ll have capable deputies to work with, the town officials decide to give her a chance. Unfortunately, they have forgotten one of the duties of the sheriff – to conduct executions of condemned men.What I love most about Ms. McCrumb’s books are the Appalachian superstitions, folklore and traditions that run through her stories. They create such a unique atmosphere that I’ve only found in this author’s books. However, this story only refers to one tradition, the Dumb Supper. The book starts off with a scene of six young women going through the enactment of a Dumb Supper where they supposedly will learn who they will one day marry. There are ancient rules that must be strictly followed for this magical event to go right and if not, well, there will be consequences. However, I never felt any connection with the beginning of the story to the supposed consequence. Plus the book is very slow moving which usually is not a negative to me; however, I did feel that parts of the book were repetitive.All that being said, I still enjoyed the book very much. Sharyn McCrumb has such a way with words and while the atmosphere created wasn’t quite what I usually expect in one of her books, it still placed me right into the time period and location of those gorgeous mountains and its people. The book is said to be based on a true story. Elllie Robbins will work her way into your heart with her courage and determination. Ms. McCrumb is a wonderful storyteller and her characters will long be remembered.This book was given to me by the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    Listed as No. 11 in McCrumb's ballad series, this novel isn't built on a legend, but grew out of a germ of historical fact. In 1936, the last public hanging ever carried out in the United States was presided over by a woman sheriff, who was filling out her deceased husband's term of office. This took place, not in the Appalachian region, but north and west in Kentucky bluegrass country. McCrumb, intrigued by the idea of a widow taking on the job of sheriff in order to feed her children during the Depression, wrote a story otherwise quite different than the factual situation that inspired it, set firmly in East Tennessee, with its focus on the fictional woman, Ellendor Robbins, not the crime whose perpetrator she was obliged to execute. In fact, she changed the nature of the crime, leaving out the inflammatory racial element, and giving us a murderer who is such a lost soul we can almost sympathize with his fate. We have no Bonesteels or Arrowoods; no supernatural elements, and little in the way of mountain lore, with one notable exception-- the practice of the Dumb Supper, at which young girls hope to meet their future husbands in person or in spirit, if only they follow the odd ritual just right. There was a stretch in the first third where Mrs. Robbins' introspection about what she was going to do after her husband died got quite tedious and repetitious (I GOT it --- she was one of the "solitary McCourrys", not comfortable around people, not given to socializing or small talk; I GOT it---her people would not ask for help, not even from family, not for food for their children nor a rope if they were drowning), but once she actually succeeded in persuading the County Commissioners to appoint her Sheriff, the story kept me fully engaged.