For years, Ben Dirjery, a rock-star-turned-gravedigger, has struggled with guilt over the death of a former bandmate, who is buried, literally, under Ben's feet. Faced with new pressure to confront his guilt, Ben might finally put it to rest and bring music back into his life.
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About the Author
Beth Castrodale has worked as a newspaper reporter and book editor. An excerpt from In This Ground was a shortlist finalist for a William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Award. Her novel Marion Hatley (Garland Press, 2017) was a finalist for a Nilsen Prize for a First Novel from Southeast Missouri State University Press. Beth has published stories in such journals as Printer’s Devil Review, The Writing Disorder, and Mulberry Fork Review. To learn more about Beth’s work and sign up for her email newsletter, visit bethcastrodale.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In this ground based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
In This Ground, by Beth Castrodale, is a rich, satisfying story about a grave digger who is both moving beyond and reconnecting with his youth as a rock guitarist. The novel is largely set in a modern-day urban grave yard (at least that's how I pictured it) and provides a fascinating look at the often mundane business of burying people. But what makes this novel so fun are the characters - both living and dead. Castrodale has peopled her world with an eccentric group of artists, creators, seekers, and legends. There are several astonishing vignettes within the story, including a delirious walk to the pyres of India, and a couple's grief after losing a child. I suppose it sounds dark...but I found the book ultimately joyous and funny and redemptive. I will not share any other plot details, so you have as much pleasure turning these pages as I did. I will say that by the end of the book, you will know more than you know now about "green burials," mushrooms and yarn bombing. (Pictured: my overgrown neighborhood cemetery.)