Moving to town was a hard thing, but the jobs were in town, and Mr. Hoover’s Depression had no end in sight. A regular paycheck seemed like an answer to prayer. And the schools were better. So Ellie and Albert and the two boys left the mountains and moved. Albert got hired on as a deputy sheriff and things settled in. Then Albert got himself elected sheriff, and things began to look up. Ellie prayed so hard that Albert would be safe, not shot or killed in a car wreck, or such like. Instead he took ill and died of pneumonia – prayers the devil – when you get your wish and it does you no good. Desperate to find a way to support her family, Ellie convinces the authorities to appoint her to serve out her husband’s term as sheriff. She is a strong minded woman and can handle the job. But then an execution is required, and an execution by hanging must be performed by the sheriff, and that task is considered too difficult for a woman.
Sharyn McCrumb lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains where her family has lived for generations. Her writing reflects her deep knowledge of the ways of the mountain people. The characters always ring true, the prose is lyrical and the stories are deeply moving. I highly recommend this book and all of her books.
eGalley review Publication date 5.10.16
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