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

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  3,604 Ratings  ·  219 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 Weingarten
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.
Aug 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 13, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This puts a realistic picture of Appalachian life for us who might want to think of it romantically.
Jun 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, 2010
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
May 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sezín Koehler
Mar 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
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
Mar 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I originally read this as the Common Book for my freshman year in college. At the time, I was unimpressed in part because we read from a copy with a typical "supermarket" format that guided my expectations before I ever opened the book. To be honest, watching and hearing about McCrumb's interactions with people on campus didn't help.

I recently read another of her books at the recommendation of a colleague and came back to this one because it seemed to fit some themes for a course I'll be teachin
May 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Haunting terror and suspense" is written on the front cover of my copy of She Walks These Hills. In my opinion, this statement could not be further from the truth. In no sense did I find it terrifying. A ghostly apparition was mentioned a handful of times in passing, but nothing even remotely scary came of it. In short, I was expecting a frightening ghost story. Instead, I got a crime fiction... and a very good one! I found She Walks These Hills to be a captivating story that I couldn't help bu ...more
Mar 09, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 16, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
an historical plotline of a captive? cool.
Dennis Fischman
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A truly chilling and deeply sad story about women and men, then and now. As always with this series, the moral landscape is as gorgeous and as treacherous as the mountains.
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like the way the author weaves the stories together in this book. It gets better and better.
I read this for my Mystery Book Club discussion for this week. When I first finished it this morning, I was on my way to another book club. I rated it 4 stars and didn't have time to write this actual review. So between then and now, I've changed my mind and decided that I loved the book and had to up my stars to 5. This is the 3rd book in this series and I hate to read out of order but I didn't have time to read the first two prior to this one so I don't know if there are repeating characters a ...more
Apr 07, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A friend loaned me this book as it takes place in a fictional Tennessee town (Hamelin) on the border of North Carolina (Asheville--a real place!) where we will soon be moving. I really enjoyed the book and found myself up late into night reading the next chapter (and then the next). To me that is a sign of good fiction. The book tells the story of a small town filled with many mountain people (referred to as hillbillies in the book) who have their own legends and customs. The mountain person cul ...more
Apr 13, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
A gaggle of police officers in the East Tennessee mountains deals with a particularly Appalachian crime wave. The struggles of women, past and present, riffle through the story as the river meanders through the mountains-- sometimes showing a clear way home, but more often, not. The men are mostly baffled, misled or self-deluded by their machismo. The exception being Sheriff Spencer Arrowood, who is clear and consistent and humble enough. "Follow the River" by Thom has long been one of my favori ...more
Jan 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, appalachia
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
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
Here is another book that was reviewed, but I can not seem to find that review anywhere on GR.

I read this right after I finished the first Ballad book. I didn't have much interest in reading this but it was on my shelf and I wanted to get it out of the way so that my book case was purged of any McCrumb novels.

I liked this book better than I did If Ever I Return, pretty Peggy-O but not by much. The story and characters held my interest a bit more and the story-line didn't drag as badly as book #
Tracy Pierce
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Katherine Clark
Jul 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Holly Morey
Sep 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2006, fiction, bc2006
"Haunting story" seems very apt to me. There's almost a melancholy feeling to this story. Harm's loss of freedom and so much more, Rita's prison of a marriage, Katie Wyler still walking home 100 years later, and LeDonne continuing to suffer from what he experienced in Vietnam.
With family from the mountains of NC, I've been to or through quite a bit of the area this story is set in, so it was interesting reading about places I've been. McCrumb is definitely a gifted storyteller and I'm looking fo
Feb 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is nothing that Sharyn McCrumb writes that I don't enjoy, especially the Ballad Mysteries and the Elizabeth MacPherson series. And of all the books of Ms. McCrumb's that I've read....She Walks These Hills is still my favorite. I've read it at least 3 times and I love it just as much every time. The characters draw you in...the story line grabs you and you just don't want to stop reading. If you love stories about choices people make and how those choices resonate through history, then star ...more
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i need opinions!!! 4 45 Jan 04, 2013 06:04PM  
  • Signs in the Blood (An Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mystery #1)
  • Black Mountain Breakdown
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    Sharyn McCrumb, an award-winning Southern writer, is best known for her Appalachian “Ballad” novels, including the New York Times best sellers The Ballad of Tom Dooley, The Ballad of Frankie Silver, and The Songcatcher. Ghost Riders, which won the Wilma Dykeman Award for Literature from the East Tennessee Historical Society and the national Audie Award for Best Recorded Books. The Unquiet Gra
More about Sharyn McCrumb...

Other Books in the Series

Ballad (1 - 10 of 12 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)
  • Prayers the Devil Answers

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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 ...” 2 likes
“Oh, son, hardly anybody wants to leave. These mountains are more than just a place for folks around here.” 1 likes
More quotes…