Read The Unquiet Grave Online Free - 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 Using a century of genealogical material and other historical documents, McCrumb reveals new information about the story and brings to life the personalities in the trial: the prosecutor, a former Confederate cavalryman; the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.
|Title||:||The Unquiet Grave|
|Number of Pages||:||368 pages|
October 08, 2017
3.5 Takes a while for this story to actually get going, but I love this type of fiction, so I persevered. A combination of folklore, ghost story and a real murder trial, set at the turn of the century in Appalachia. This author does these types of stories so well, and always does an amazing amoun...
October 10, 2017
“The Unquiet Grave” by Sharyn McCrumb is a fictional tale based on one of the strangest murder trials in American History which took place in 1897 – and had to do with a folklore legend of the Greenbrier Ghost. The book was extremely well researched.
The book flips back and forth between t...
October 09, 2017
Traveling Sisters Group Review with Norma, Lindsay, Susanne, and Diane
I read The Unquiet Grave with three of my Traveling Sisters and this one had us situated in different coulees in the end with our enjoyment and rating for this book.
We all did have similar thoughts on The Unquiet Grave however...
July 17, 2017
Times change, but men mostly don't.
James P.D. Gardner sits quietly in his darkened room in this former hotel now serving as an asylum for the insane. Although a renowned African American attorney of long standing in Lakin, West Virginia, Gardner had attempted suicide. Like the legal volumes stack...
October 08, 2017
Traveling Sisters Group Review with Brenda, Lindsay, Susanne, and Diane!
THE UNQUIET GRAVE by SHARYN MCCRUMB was an interesting, very informative, and a well-researched tale that was based on the true story of one of the strangest murder trials in American history, of an 1897 folklore legend of th...
October 04, 2017
I love historical fiction.....especially when there's a bit of a ghost story to compliment it.....and this is a good one!Based on the true story of one of the strangest murder trials in American history, Sharyn McCrumb tells the tale of an 1897 legend.....the Greenbrier Ghost.It's 1930 when while...
October 09, 2017
This book started off strong, slowly dragged in the middle and then finished with a bang. Unfortunately, the dragging middle part was from about the 40% mark to the 97% mark. I started to lose interest around the halfway mark and had to force myself to keep reading. Had this not been a...
August 26, 2017
Sharyn McCrumb is a long-time favorite author of mine. Her ballad books are food for my literary soul, with her hauntingly beautiful tales of the Appalachian Mountains folklore. This time she’s veered away from those ballads with a historical novel based upon a true incident. There actually was a...
August 24, 2017
Zona Heaster is a beautiful redhead who wants more out of life than the mountains of West Virginia can offer her in 1897. After secretly bearing a child out of wedlock, she takes up with a 35-year-old blacksmith whose good looks and easy charm are impossible to resist. Their whirlwind courtship d...
September 27, 2017
5 stars for the meticulous historical research McCrumb undertook and for her attention to contextual nuance and details. I was leaning towards 4 stars until I finished the novel and came upon the Author's Note, which explained the basis of The Unquiet Grave as the folktale of the Greenbrier Ghost...