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In This Ground

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  24 ratings  ·  12 reviews
For years, Ben Dirjery, a rock-star-turned-gravedigger, has struggled with guilt over the death of a former bandmate, who is buried, literally, under Ben's feet. Faced with new pressure to confront his guilt, Ben might finally put it to rest and bring music back into his life.

"Startlingly incongruous parts--graveyards, guitars, and mushrooms--come together in satisfying
Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 18th 2018 by Garland Press
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Average rating 4.38  · 
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DJ Sakata
Favorite Quotes:

Cole tried to picture Ms. Gale drinking in a cemetery and didn’t come close. Though she looked younger than any other teacher in the school it was impossible to imagine her at seventeen—at least not the loud, stupid kind of seventeen. Her type of serious seemed elemental, the type you had from birth.

Nature will have her way with all of us, son, no matter what tricks we try to pull. If you want someone to stay the same forever you better take a picture.

My Review:

This was one of
Erica Metcalf
In This Ground by Beth Castrodale is a tale about love and friendship, music and art, a cemetery, mushrooms, knitting, music, and letting go of the ghosts that keep some anchored in the past. That may sound pretty random, but I'm sure it peaked your interest! It certainly peaked mine!

I'm so grateful to have been given the chance to participate in the TLC Book Tour to help promote this novel!

This tale was so wonderfully written and the cast was fantastic! I had so much fun reading it.

If you want
Crystal Zavala
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tlcbooktours
Graveyards, Yarn Bombing, Mushrooms, Painting, Song writing, Musicians, Archaeology, and a Wanderer.
I would have never expected all of these topics in this short novel. Beth Castrodale masterfully combines all of these topics. Initially, I found the book to be a slow start, but before I knew it I cared about each of the characters. The character development is simple, yet profound.

Ben Dirjery is a single Dad of a teenage daughter. He works as a caretaker at a graveyard, has a passion for
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.25 Stars. Sometimes you just want a ‘quieter’ read, one of those narratives that whispers to you while slowly wrapping you in its web. In This Ground is just that book.

At first, the puzzle pieces starkly presented seemed disjointed. However, slowly but surely the differing character viewpoints coalesce into a much more meaningful and heartwarming landscape.

Metaphorically, that landscape is one filled with achingly real, imperfect people. Despite their differences, and at times, discord they
Thomas Benz
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beth Castrodale's "In This Ground" does the equivalent of deftly performing a very challenging dive from the high platform. She takes a setting that people often go to great lengths to avoid-a cemetery-and makes it a place so interesting in its background and finely drawn characters, one eagerly enters into this largely unknown world, and finds it alive as any other. She does this with an abundance of wit, and demonstrates how largely hidden motives forged from experience make us all human. A ...more
Edwin Hill
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book, which is set in a cemetary and explores themes like art and death and music and rebirth. Castrodale manages at least six different POV characters, each one distict and beautifully drawn. This is a fanstastically drawn literary novel, written with sharply drawn characters and settings. It will make you look at your local cemetary in a new way!
Lynn Sloan
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The kind of novel I turn to when I want comfort is one that is peopled with authentic characters doing their best within a large community, operating, as real communities do, with oppositional forces. In This Ground offers this and so much more. In fact, I’ve read this book twice, because I wanted to return to the world that Castrodale creates. At the center of this novel is a place, Bolster Hill Cemetery, and a father and daughter drama, a coming-of-age story, and a crisis of middle age story. ...more
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Before I go much further, I have to say that I L-O-V-E this book. In This Ground is thought provoking with just a bit of quirky artistry running through most of the characters.

Again, can I say I love this book? I'm in kind of a conundrum though because I usually do not care for novels built around a secret mystery, a mystery that when reveled leaves a bit of "Meh" in the experience. While I thought the mystery of Vince's death a bit unremarkable, I think it was my connection with Ben and his
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Quirky characters, music, knitting bombs, mushrooms, and green funerals all combine in this gripping novel from Beth Castrodale, In This Ground. It’s part mystery part character study, with multiple intertwining threads and overlapping stories, not to mention that it’s set in a cemetery.

At the center of it all, of course, is Ben, divorced, lonely, with his ambitions of being in a successful rock band long gone to seed, he is the POV character we first meet, and while the story pays more
Seaside Book
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing

LOVED IT! In This Ground remained me of my favorite Mitch Albom's book, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto. I want a sequel to In This Ground!
 Reading Divergence
You've probably never seen cemeteries from this perspective. I'm very sure you haven't, unless you've worked in groundskeeping or cemetery maintenance, and even then you wouldn't be privy to the lives, pasts, and emotions of such a large cast of characters. In this work of Literary fiction, author Beth Castrodale investigates these lives through the lens of eternal rest, music, love, and the mysterious figure called the "Unknown Vagrant," a historical personage who continually walked a circuit ...more
John Sullivan
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In This Ground is a wonderful novel of multiple strands, and all of them wind around a specific location: Bolster Hill Cemetery, which is just as much a character as the humans in the novel, most of whom are living, and two of whom have passed on. Bolster Hill is inspired by Boston’s Forest Hills Cemetery, a “garden cemetery” founded in 1848. Castrodale executes her vision with artistry, humor, and insight.

The novel’s main character is gravedigger Ben Dirjery, who quit his indie-rock band, the
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Beth Castrodale has worked as a newspaper reporter and editor. Her novels include Marion Hatley, a finalist for a Nilsen Prize for a First Novel from Southeast Missouri State University Press (published by Garland Press in 2017), and In This Ground (Garland Press, 2018). Beth's stories have appeared in such journals as Printer’s Devil Review, The Writing Disorder, and the Mulberry Fork Review. Get ...more
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