Ghost on Black Mountain

Ann Hite. S&S/Gallery, $15 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-4516-0642-3
Set in a rural South Carolina town in the 1930s, Hite's deft debut, told through the perspectives of five women, offers vivid settings and characters. Seduced into marriage by the charismatic Hobbs Pritchard, 17-year-old Nellie Pritchard moves with him to Black Mountain, where she discovers her handsome, amiable husband is really a vicious, murderous bootlegger feared by the entire community. Worse still, Hobbs is haunted by the spirits of his victims, who soon begin to haunt Nellie, too. After Hobbs nearly beats her to death, she kills him and flees the mountain, journeying to Darien, Ga., to make a new life for herself. However, Hobbs isn't done with her, or with Rose Gardner, who was pregnant with Hobbs's baby before he disappeared. The novel's other narrators include Nellie's mother Josie Clay; Shelly Parker, who communicates with ghosts ; and Iona Harbor, who hears about Nellie and Hobbes as characters in her nightly bedtime story. While Hite misses the mark with some plot elements, the novel will intrigue readers eager for a Southern Gothic tale, and suggests a promising future for the Black Mountain novels to come. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/08/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-4516-0643-0
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