The Ghosts of Varner Creek
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The Ghosts of Varner Creek

4.2 465
by Michael L Weems

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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

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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.

Product Details

CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
Sales rank:
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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The Ghosts of Varner Creek 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 465 reviews.
romFrankenstein5 More than 1 year ago
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
candace minshew More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It did start off a bit slow but very much worth the read. I thought it was a great story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book -- could not put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
redwing57 More than 1 year ago
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.
Yvonne M. Dale More than 1 year ago
The characters came across as real people and the philosophy about the afterlife rings true
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I never expected the plot twist toward the end. Nothing in this story was predictable and that kept me turning the pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At first, I doubted the story as it started off a little slow. But as I continued, I couldn't put the book down! The story is dark--one of the darkest and most tragic I have ever read. The characters all contributed so much, and the plot kept thickening and becoming even more addicting to the point I had to finish! I recommend to any fans of historical fiction, mystery, horror, suspense, thrillers, and supernatural.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You'll find the ending a head shaker and a wow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Deals with some harsh family issues. But written from a child's perspective.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After making it through a slow beginning, I couldn't read this book fast enough!! It took me a while to connect family ties, and the lines between flashback, senility, and the afterlife...but once I did, a rich and inventive story unfolded! Just when I thought I had it all figured out, a new twist was thrown at me, and I was forced to rethink everything! Moreover, a book of this length and quality is FREE? I would have paid for this. It was a blissful break from the all-too-ephemeral free short stories, and it's never, ever leaving my nook.
emeraldfeyer More than 1 year ago
A very good book. I recommend it to anyone who likes a great story! I cared about the characters and the story line had enough twists and turns to keep my attention. I plan on reading other works by this author.
lsmoore_43 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It help my interest from beginning to end and was very surprised with parts of it. It is one of the best books I have read and the first by Michael Weems but will be reading more from him if possible. Great read and I highly recommend to anyone that loves a great mystery filled with surprises and twists.. I give this book a big 5 star rating.
MelWell More than 1 year ago
While sad and kind of depressing, this story is realistic and the reader can really connect with the characters. It was definitely a page-turner and I couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story is excellent with a number of unexpected turns and twists. It has a wonderful sense of time and place. A dark and sad story, but one that I couldn't put down. Well done Michael Weems!
Terry Murphy More than 1 year ago
Seldom does a book touch me the way this one did. I highly recommend this book.
Melody41 More than 1 year ago
Best ghost story I've come across since Sixth Sense. Awesome book.
Lovz-Books 8 months ago
"I see dead people." At least some old geezer in a country nursing home does. He sees "Faceless," a woman whose facial features are a blur. "I've never really spoken of it to other people, but there's no convincing me it wasn't a spirit...that the Good Book was talking about when it said 'unclean spirits' and when possession is when they fill you up with their own misery." (5) Story was laced with that witty, funny Texas drawl, which was oddly intriguing. Mr. Mayfield may not know much (next to nothing, practically,) but he was still pretty wise about certain things. I liked the comment about old age: "The body's the same old house that time has redecorated." (7) The interesting part came when Mr. Mayfield dies and becomes a ghost of Varner Creek. It is at this time that he meets up with his long-lost sister (another ghost). Together, they relive buried memories. Now, we flash back to a truck load of history about the town, his mother, his father, his family, his neighbors, etc. There was too much talk about religious morals, God, and the bible. Where are the ghosts? Book started off pretty good, but then got boring fast. Overall, this was an unsatisfying read. I expected more ghosts, a horror story, which I guess it kind of was with all the skeletons in the family closet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I normally don't read this type of story, but the narrator charmed me from the beginning. I have to say that this is one of the most heartbreaking, gut-wrenching stories I've ever read. I also felt it was very well written, with one exception. I did notice a few times where the author wrote Sarah's name instead of Annie's. If you can overlook that, however, this is a very good - though very sad - read. Let's just put it this way: I never leave reviews, but felt I had to with this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sadand very well done.