The Ghosts of Varner Creek

( 449 )

Overview

Caution: Book contains adult content and themes. Reader discretion advised.

In the summer of 1909, in the small town of Varner Creek, Texas, twelve year old Solomon Mayfield awoke one morning to find his mother and sister had disappeared. Through a series of cover-ups and denials, some aimed at protecting Sol, others at hiding the worst of secrets, Sol lived the rest of his life in a fog of half-truths and shadowed lies, haunted by ghosts of the dead with whom he suddenly found ...

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The Ghosts of Varner Creek

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Overview

Caution: Book contains adult content and themes. Reader discretion advised.

In the summer of 1909, in the small town of Varner Creek, Texas, twelve year old Solomon Mayfield awoke one morning to find his mother and sister had disappeared. Through a series of cover-ups and denials, some aimed at protecting Sol, others at hiding the worst of secrets, Sol lived the rest of his life in a fog of half-truths and shadowed lies, haunted by ghosts of the dead with whom he suddenly found himself sharing an inexplicable bond with that he could never fully understand. But when Sol passes away as an old man so many years later, the truth is waiting for him, as are the ghosts of his past. Sol finally discovers what really happened that summer and it is a truth that will change everything he thought he knew about the life he lived and the people he thought he knew. For as Sol is about to find out, even the dead have secrets.

Author's Note: 18+ only, please, as some of the subject matter is not suitable at all for younger readers. Also, a few comments noted book starts slow before reving up. The beginning becomes something different by the ending which is how it was written, but fair disclaimer to readers who hate slow starts . . . this one does lay a foundation before it gets going that some may find slower than to their liking. Also, The Ghosts of Varner Creek is more than a ghost story. It could fit into a number of genres . . . historical fiction, southern fiction, mystery, paranormal, and family drama. So for readers seeking a straightforward horror novel, I wouldn't want to disappoint as this isn't really in that category. Otherwise, if you do read, I thank you in advance and hope you enjoy the book.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
At 87, Solomon "Sol" Mayfield is taken on an otherworldly journey to discover what really happened to his family. Sol has been able to see ghosts ever since his mother and sister mysteriously disappeared when he was a child. When he dies in a nursing home in the second chapter of the novel, it's only the beginning of his story. He's reunited with his sister, Sarah, who reveals family secrets he was never able to learn while he was alive. The novel flashes back to 1909, when Sol was 12 and Sarah was 13. The day after Sarah's birthday, Sol wakes up to find that his mother and sister are gone. Many in their small town of Varner Creek, Texas, assume that Sol's mother, Annie, had finally had enough of his abusive father, Abram; others suspect foul play. Abram blamed Annie for Sarah's Down syndrome and for trapping him in a small town by becoming pregnant at 14. Sent to live with his Aunt Emma and Uncle Colby, Sol is visited one night by what appears to be Sarah's ghost. Is his sister dead? If so, who killed her? And what about their mother? Sol sets out to find the answers, some of which are not revealed until decades later. Weems' story unfurls slowly, at a pace that feels consistent with life in a small Texas town. He has an impressive knack for dialect, and regional accents and idioms help bring the characters into vivid relief. Also, Sol's self-deprecation and world-weary charm make him an instantly likable narrator. While it's easy to get pulled into his story, the narrative sags a bit in the middle when the reader is given a thorough history of how Sol's parents met, which doesn't feel entirely necessary to the main story. When the final mystery is unveiled, however, the solution is sufficiently unexpected if not completely shocking. A well-crafted balance of history and supernatural mystery.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781469955759
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication date: 2/1/2012
  • Pages: 168
  • Sales rank: 849,873
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Weems is an attorney in Houston, TX. The Ghosts of Varner Creek is his first novel, although he has since published a second entitled Border Crossings.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 449 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(224)

4 Star

(142)

3 Star

(52)

2 Star

(13)

1 Star

(18)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 449 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 11, 2011

    Awesome read

    This is a well written story that twists and winds and leads the reader on a roller coaster ride of the main characters life and family horrors. The ending has a great twist that rips at your heart and wraps all the threads up compleatly if not tragically. Read it during our recent total blackout and it was a nice way to spend a quiet dark night. If you like mild horror of the real kind, semi historical type settings around the turn of the century then grab this book, sit down and get comfy 'cuz you won't be puutting this down til you're done

    20 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 19, 2011

    Terrific book!

    This story was haunting and chilled me to the core. I couldn?t read fast enough to find out what happened to the characters. I was definitely hooked from the very beginning. I would recommend this book if you are looking for a great mystery.

    15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011

    Great read!

    It did start off a bit slow but very much worth the read. I thought it was a great story.

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 18, 2011

    Interesting story

    The characters came across as real people and the philosophy about the afterlife rings true

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2011

    Great read!

    I absolutely loved this book -- could not put it down.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 12, 2011

    Creatively written

    Don't expect a typical ghost story. Ghosts play a special role, allowing this exploration of the human condition to unfold. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2012

    Great Book

    Wow..... what an amazing book! I amaddicted to sci fi teen novels and took a chance on this one. Could barrly put it down!!! Amaxing and well writtrn! Ending was spectacular! Kudos to this author

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2012

    Depressing

    I wanted to stop reading this book about 20 pages in, but then I just had to find out what happened next. In the end, I felt very depressed, not because the story was not good, but because the story was so sad. I love to read books over and over, but this, I will not read again. You may not find it depressing like I did. It did keep my attention and was kind of predictable, but over all, it was a good story.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2011

    I tried to get into it.....just couldn't

    After 100 pages i gave up . I knew what was going to happen before it happened....too predictable.

    4 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2011

    Couldn't get into it

    I don't bash books that I don't enjoy, just let people know a yes or no really. I usually give a book about 50 pages and this one only held me to 32. Just not a good one for me.

    4 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 30, 2011

    I don't really know what to say

    I don't know how I really feel about it because I haven't finished it yet.
    It started out okay enough,I kind of liked the old guy and his quirks and his feelings about being old and I was into it, but the language used when describing the parents' lives was...disturbing, and hard to read...I had to put it down. I may pick it up again because I like the story or at least I think I do, but I needed a break. (I'm kind of a softy)

    4 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2011

    Really glad I gave this one a shot

    This is the first review I've ever written - it was that good. A great story line meshed together with a unique unfolding. No quessing in the end. Awesome twist! I didn't have this one figured out halfway through! Thank you, Michael Weems, for sharing your remarkable talent!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2013

    Good read

    This is a good story that's well written but it's not the scary kind, and scary is what I was hoping for. Call me old fashioned.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2011

    This is a masterpiece

    Michael Weems is one of those rare writers who defies readers to put it down, effectively structured that the reader can easily fall into its pages. Read it and weep

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2013

    Tedious

    Storyline very slow to develop. Did not hold my interest enough to finish it. Don't bother paying for this one!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2012

    RONNY TSUNAMI RECCOMENDS THIS BOOK

    This book is phenomenal and is very detailed to the point where i felt like i could imagine every scene in my head, as if i was watching a movie! The reason i didnt give it 5 stars was because the beginning started off great, but then a large portion of the middle of the book went too much into detail of other things, and i thought it would never get back to what the book was really about! But most of all, the book is easy to read and takes you on an emotional rollercoaster! Its a must read!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2012

    Awful

    Couldnt get past pg 28. Just too boring.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2012

    Absolutely Fabulous!

    I have to admit that I read a lot! I could tell by the first few pages of this incredible book that I was in for a great read. There are certain writers that leave you with an "out of body experience". Mr Weems was able to do this. I was no longer sitting in my room, but felt that I was actually there floating around in his words. The characters, the scenes, the plot.....fascinating! Although it was a tragic story, it was believable and actually made me cry. I live for books like this, and I hope there are many more to come from this great author. Bravo!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2012

    a want to keep reading book!

    You'll find the ending a head shaker and a wow.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    Great story!

    I absolutely loved this story! Told in a manner that kept my interest from the very beginning, I HAD to know what happens next and couldn't put it down. I greatly enjoyed the authors writing style and well developed characters that I could see clearly in my mind's eye. I found myself caring about them, they seemed so real. I look forward to more from Michael Weems and I highly recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 449 Customer Reviews

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