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Audio CD Edition
Rich in Historical Detail
Critically-acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Sharyn McCrumb chronicles the Civil War in the Southern mountains in Ghost Riders, an extraordinary tale of the war that was fought farm-to-farm, neighbor to neighbor in the part of the South that never wanted to leave the union.
Ghost Riders won the 2004 Audie Award for Best Multi-voiced Narration. The award was announced June 4 at the Audio Publishers Association Conference, part of Book Expo 2004 in Chicago, Illinois.
Sharyn also won the Wilma Dykeman Award for Regional Historical Literature by the East Tennessee Historical Society. This award is given annually to an author whose writing reflects the excellence, heritage, culture and diversity of Appalachia. The winner also must demonstrate a dedicated commitment to the best interests of the land and the people of the Southern mountains through their writing.
- Hear Sharyn read from Ghost Riders: Listen
As in her previous novels, The Ballad of Frankie Silver; The Rosewood Casket; She Walks These Hills; The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter; and The Songcatcher, the last of which The Atlanta Journal and Constitution hailed as "a ballad in itself to the Appalachians and the history of the people who have settled it," McCrumb celebrates her heritage and the land of the mountain South, crafting a story rich with tradition and the true character and spirit of that breathtaking region.
The novel's primary narrators are the historical figures Malinda Blalock and Zebulon Vance.
Malinda Blalock, a young mountain woman whose husband was forced to enlist in the Confederate army, disguised herself as a boy and went with him. Discharged soon afterwards, it isn't long before the Confederacy wants Keith to take up arms again, and he does, only this time it is as a bushwhacker for the Union. With not many people left to trust in a war that has pitted brother against brother, the couple head for high ground to avoid the county militia, and soon become hard-riding, deadly outlaws who avenge the deaths of their kin and neighbors at the hands of the Rebels.
North Carolina Governor Zebulon Baird Vance, a young lawyer from Asheville, rose from humble beginnings on a frontier farm to serve in the U.S. Congress. Although he opposed secession, Vance remained loyal to his home state when the war broke out, leaving Washington to become colonel of the 26th North Carolina, and later the Confederate governor of North Carolina.
In the present, the war resonates like a half-remembered nightmare. It lingers on in the Confederate battle flag flying in the yard of a trailer, in the church names “Union Baptist” and “Cumberland Presbyterian,” which are expressions of politics not faith, and in the minds of scholars and weekend warriors who continue to relive the war.
In Wake County, Tennessee the local Civil War re-enactors' group is planning a mock battle. Most of the local men who participate in the re-enactments prefer to fight on the Confederate side, and most of them are unaware that in all likelihood their mountain ancestors favored the Union. Rattler, an old mountain root doctor who has the Sight speaks for the present, fearing that the zeal of the re-enactors will awaken the restless spirits of the real soldiers still wandering the mountains.
Ghost Riders captures the horrors of a war that tore families apart, turned neighbors into enemies, and left the survivors bitter long after the fighting was officially over. It is a fascinating narrative, rich in historical detail that once again highlights Sharyn McCrumb's gift for story-telling and her love of the mountain South.