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'way Down In Lonesome Cove 1895   By: (1850-1922)

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In "Way Down In Lonesome Cove 1895" by Mary Noailles Murfree, readers are transported to a vivid and immersive world that effortlessly blends historical fiction with elements of mystery and suspense. Set in a remote Appalachian village in the late 19th century, the story weaves a captivating tapestry of the region's rugged beauty, its deep-rooted traditions, and the complex interpersonal dynamics of its inhabitants.

Murfree's prose is remarkably lyrical and evocative, painting a detailed portrait of the cove's landscape and atmosphere. With precise and vivid descriptions, the author skillfully captures the essence of the Appalachians, infusing the story with a strong sense of place. From the mist-covered mountains to the winding creeks and hidden caves, readers will find themselves fully immersed in this enchanting world.

One of the standout aspects of this novel is Murfree's ability to bring her characters to life. Each persona is meticulously crafted, their personalities and backgrounds uniquely woven into the fabric of the story. From the tenacious and brave protagonist, who stumbles upon a dark secret lurking in the cove, to the enigmatic and reclusive old hermit, the cast of characters is diverse and compelling.

As the narrative unfolds, the book gradually reveals a web of secrets, rivalries, and buried truths that have haunted the village for decades. Murfree skillfully balances the slow-burning suspense with nuanced insights into human nature, exploring themes of loyalty, justice, and the weight of one's past. The pacing of the plot is artfully done, keeping readers engaged throughout and steadily building towards a riveting climax.

Furthermore, Murfree's meticulous research is evident in the historical accuracy that permeates the novel. From the way of life of the villagers to the cultural nuances of the Appalachian region, the author's attention to detail creates an authentic and immersive experience for the reader. Through the skillful integration of historical facts into the narrative, readers gain a deeper understanding of the peculiarities and challenges faced by the characters.

Though "Way Down In Lonesome Cove 1895" showcases Murfree's prowess as a writer, it is not without its flaws. At times, the pacing may feel slow, and some readers might find the extensive descriptions and the intricate world-building distracting from the main plot. Additionally, the ending might leave some loose ends untied, which can be frustrating for those seeking a neatly wrapped-up conclusion.

Overall, "Way Down In Lonesome Cove 1895" is a captivating and well-crafted historical mystery that will transport readers to a bygone era. Mary Noailles Murfree's exquisite prose, coupled with her intricate character development and attention to detail, make this novel a memorable reading experience. While it may not be a perfect fit for those accustomed to faster-paced stories or neat resolutions, readers longing for a meticulously researched, atmospheric, and thought-provoking tale will find themselves thoroughly satisfied.

First Page:


By Charles Egbert Craddock


One memorable night in Lonesome Cove the ranger of the county entered upon a momentous crisis in his life. What hour it was he could hardly have said, for the primitive household reckoned time by the sun when it shone, by the domestic routine when no better might be. It was late. The old crone in the chimney corner nodded over her knitting. In the trundle bed at the farther end of the shadowy room were transverse billows under the quilts, which intimated that the small children were numerous enough for the necessity of sleeping crosswise. He had smoked out many pipes, and at last knocked the cinder from the bowl. The great hickory logs had burned asunder and fallen from the stones that served as andirons. He began to slowly cover the embers with ashes, that the fire might keep till morning.

His wife, a faded woman, grown early old, was bringing the stone jar of yeast to place close by the hearth, that it might not "take a chill" in some sudden change of the night. It was heavy, and she bent in carrying it. Awkward, and perhaps nervous, she brought it sharply against the shovel in his hands.

The clash roused the old crone in the corner.

She recognized the situation instantly, and the features that sleep had relaxed into inexpressiveness took on a weary apprehension, which they wore like a habit... Continue reading book >>

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