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She Walks These Hills
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She Walks These Hills (Ballad #3)

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  2,894 ratings  ·  171 reviews
Fear more chilling than approaching winter blankets the Appalachian community of Dark Hollow, Tennessee. Some believe that the ghost of Katie Wyler, kidnapped by Shawnee two hundred years ago, is once again roaming the hills. Even more frightening, a convicted murderer has escaped prison and is heading home with his woodsman's cunning, mocking all attempts to keep him from ...more
Published October 1st 1994 by Scribner Book Company (first published 1994)
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I love books with strong plots, and the architecture of McCrumb's novel has an admirable set of relationships between past and present. The foundation of her novel is based on the legend of Katie Wyler, an 18th century settler, captured and held by the Shawnee until she escaped and walked miles and miles home (roughly from Morgantown to Ashville)in hopes of reconnecting with her people. McCrumb juxtaposes this tale with several characters who live in Appalachia in the late 20th Century. Each con ...more
Rachel C.
I'll admit to having been disappointed when McCrumb segued into her NASCAR books, but understand the desire to evolve. Of her many ballad books I loved this one most because of the way that she wove together the history, the mystery and the ghost stories. Beautifully written and a well made statement about women's roles in the past and present.
I love all of McCrumb's ballad series. Not necessarily the best writing, nor the most intriguing mysteries, but the way that she weaves together the stories behind each of the folk ballads with the modern-time happenings is just...magic to me.
This puts a realistic picture of Appalachian life for us who might want to think of it romantically.
This was an alright story. It is about many different people in a small town in the Appalations(sp?) and their connection to each other. There is an elderly escaped convict, a middle aged woman dispatcher who wants to be a deputy(and feels the need to explain this on every friggen level), a history Student who tries to walk the 200 year old trail of a girl who escaped the indians and maybe a ghost. There is also a of a radio dj(who really bugged me, but I don't like radio dj's so thats a Jessi ...more
Harm Sorley has gone a little crazy in prison. Either the alcohol or the confinement, mostly likely both, has got him confused about where - and when - he is. But not so confused that he couldn't escape and start heading for the only home he's ever known, in the country hills of Tennessee.

But much more time has passed than Harm realizes. His beautiful wife and baby daughter are almost 40 years older. The land has changed. And Harm himself has changed too.

His wife, remarried now to a 'respectable
The strength of this book is the author's obvious knowledge, and love for, Appalachia. Her vivid descriptions of the mountains and hollers, and her engrossing characters make you feel as if you've stepped out of your home and into a small town, deep in the mountains. I truly enjoyed getting to know the folks in Dark Hollow, Tennessee. (Particularly the DJ, "Hank the Yank" - he made me laugh out loud!)

I give the book only 3 stars because the author's use of point of view during the story was not
Debbie Maskus
An interesting story set in the Tennessee/North Carolina mountains about mountain living. I really liked the parallel stories of the young woman escaping from Indians in 1700's and the 60+ prison escapee. The story has many memorable characters which interweave into the main story. The few pages about the honor student who kills himself after a football game ties into the mountain mentality. The traditions concerning death, love, and life seem silly, but are essential to survival. Once I started ...more
There are more people walking the woods of these hills than coyotes howling at the moon. Having walked some of the trails in the Appalachian Mountain region of our great country, it was a treat to recall my own appreciation for the beauty of this land. This story covers three different time periods. The ghost of Katie Wyler, a pioneer woman is from the late 1700's. We have Hiram (Harm) Sorley, a 65 year old escaped convict who's memory is stuck in the 1960's. Then comes present day with Jeremy C ...more
Sezin Koehler
Mar 24, 2008 Sezin Koehler rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in American history
An absolutely charming story about Appalachia, weaving history together with the present and giving a gorgeous portrait of life in one of the oldest and untouched parts of America.
Katherine Clark
4 3/4 stars. I was so tempted to give this a 5 star. I loved this book. I thought I had read it before, but I actually had read the first book in the series, and this is a later one. This is one of those books that shifts the reader in time. I would look up from what I was reading and be momentarily startled that I wasn't in the Appalachian Mountains. Since my dissertation, I've had trouble keeping focused for long when reading. I can last about 20 minutes before I get antsy. With McCrumb's book ...more
This is one of the first of the Ballad novels that I read by Mrs. McCrumb and it still my favorite. All stories to not have happy endings and sometimes things fall apart, but that is the way of life.

An escaped convict, a graduate student searching for answers to this dissertation on Katie Wilder, a lady that sees more than most, a new deputy, relationships, new, broken, and found again, the threads are all interwoven and connected well.

I really love the excerpts from the Tennessee Methodist Hymn
This story is a deft combination of historical fiction in the guise of the story of Katie Wyler, and modern police procedural depicting a manhunt for a murderer who has escaped from jail after 30 years. It also includes the story of a doctoral candidate in history who is hiking through the Tennessee mountains as part of his research into the story of Katie Wyler. The different threads of the tale all come together at the climax, where characters from the different stories meet in the mountains. ...more
Loved this book. First time in years that a book had me on the verge of tears.
Not sure why, but I suspect it had a great deal to do with McCrumb's sheer storytelling skill. And I also suspect that, written as it was in the 1990s and set in that time as well, it resonated for me in ways that later books may not be resonating. I knew these characters and their laments and longings.
But it sure was a damn good story told by an outstanding writer with a really deft storytelling touch. Love, loss, e
an historical plotline of a captive? cool.
I wanted to read a book by Sharyn McCrumb because I met her years ago and liked her.

This book is set in Appalachian country. There were many characters to keep track of, and the story line switched characters every few paragraghs or pages.

There was Martha Ayers, a wanna-be deputy, her long-time live-in boyfriend, Joe LeDonne, who was already a deputy.

Part of the storyline follows a 30-year-old murder of Claib Maggard, supposedly by Hiram Sorely, also known as Harm, who has just escaped from pris
A number of books on my currently-reading list are en route to the library I use, so I picked this one up off my snack pile to read in the mean time. (Snack pile: a stack of second-hand books I haven't read yet that seem like entertaining quick-reads.) Noticing other Goodreads reviews, I was intrigued and did a bit of digging online. Behold the power of learning more about the thing you're reading: Knowing the author's motives and the intent behind her stories has i ...more
Joyce Brown
Part contemporary realism, part fantasy, part historical fiction--this story sends the reader on a hazy, scary, mystical journey along the Appalachian Trail and into the mindset of a small Tennessee town. A crime has been committed, and the Sheriff and his deputy wannabe are determined to solve it. An escaped convict, an inexperienced hiker, a Mountain Wise Woman, and a spirit make the solution harder than it looks on the surface. Spine tingling adventure.
I have enjoyed ALL of McCrumb's books which were set in the southern Appalachians. I have read only ONE book by her which was NOT set in this area and did NOT like that book (The Windsor Knot). IF you are interested in the lives of those in the hills and dales of the southern Appalachians these are wonderful books.
Mary Kinietz
Mystery told from several perspectives. Set in Appilacia where a spirit haunts the hills - two mysterise set in one story as historian tries to research the story of the woman whose spirit he unexpectedly encounters as he is hiking her path from Ohio back home where she had been murdered in the 1800's.
With every book of this series that I read, I fall in love with the series a bit more.

The connecting theme of this book is journeying of various people (mostly females, including the land itself) trying to head home, and often finding a betrayal or unhappiness at the end of a journey.

I love how McCrumb takes several similar stories from the same town at the same time and interweaves them so they're being told all at the same time - and all progressing at about the same pace. It reminds me of inc
McCrumb is a decent writer, and her stories are usually interesting... but... it wearies me when she waxes on so long about the Appalachians- their beauty and their people's specialness. Less of this would be much better for her tale.
Sarah Lewis
I read this book for our book club at our library. We all agreed that it was a pretty good book. This book is about many different people and their connection to each other. You have a 63 year old escaped convict, a female dispatcher who wants to be a deputy, a ghost, a history professor who tries to walk the 200 year old trail of a girl who escaped the indians, an old woman who has
"the sight", a radio dj who tries to solve an old murder, and many more. Some might say she has too many character
When life gets tense, McCrumb's Appalachian stories help calm me with great characters, magic, and a mystery.
I have read this book quite a few years ago, and I will most likely read it again! I like the story and the characters. It is definitely a keeper!
Holly Morey
This is the 3rd book in the Ballad series that I have read and I loved it. The story revolves around a young woman in the 1700s, who was kidnapped by Indians, and an older man in the 1990s, who escaped from prison. Sharyn McCrumb intertwines the stories beautifully. The characters are well written and the description of the scenery and landscape made me feel like I was hiking in the mountains. What I loved about the book was the various story lines, each one with a small twist, some expected and ...more
Tracy Pierce
Sharon McCrumb has roots in the Smokey Mountains. This book is partly about a young woman who was taken by the Indians from her family in the hills. She escapes and her ghost walks the hills. A professor of local history decides to hike her route of escape. He doesn't know anything about hiking and the timing is bad. The local police are also looking for an escaped prisoner who is serving a life sentence for a brutal murder many years ago. He is trying to get home and be with his wife and baby w ...more
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book group selection. Evocative writing and great, multi-hued characters fill the pages.
I have been to the Smokies, where this novel is set. McCrumb aptly describes the agonies of novice trail hikers. I can't wait to read more of this series.
I was in a used bookstore in Skagway, Alaska looking for something to read and the owner of the shop suggested Sharyn McCrumb. I've read many of her books over the years and none of them have disappointed.

This one is set on the hollows of North Carolina near the Appalachian Mountains. Since I have an obsession with the Appalachian Trail, this was a welcome read. The main characters managed to annoy me without putting me off entirely and I look forward to reading more of them. This is always a go
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i need opinions!!! 4 41 Jan 04, 2013 06:04PM  
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Sharyn McCrumb is an American writer whose books celebrate the history and folklore of Appalachia. Educated at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Virginia Tech, she has also taught Appalachian studies. She is married to David McCrumb, a corporate environmental director, and has two children, Laura and Spencer.
More about Sharyn McCrumb...

Other Books in the Series

Ballad (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O (Ballad, #1)
  • The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter (Ballad, #2)
  • The Rosewood Casket (Ballad, #4)
  • The Ballad of Frankie Silver (Ballad, #5)
  • The Songcatcher (Ballad, #6)
  • Ghost Riders (Ballad, #7)
  • The Devil Amongst the Lawyers (Ballad, #8)
  • The Ballad of Tom Dooley (Ballad, #9)
  • King's Mountain (Ballad, #10)
  • Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past : A Ballad novella (Ballad, #11)
The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter (Ballad, #2) The Ballad of Frankie Silver (Ballad, #5) The Rosewood Casket (Ballad, #4) If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O (Ballad, #1) The Songcatcher (Ballad, #6)

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“Mountains have long-lost kinfolk on the other side of the Atlantic. The bloodline that marks that kinship is a vein of a green mineral called serpentine ...” 1 likes
“Oh, son, hardly anybody wants to leave. These mountains are more than just a place for folks around here.” 1 likes
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