The Songcatcher

The Songcatcher

by Sharyn McCrumb

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940151264600
Publisher: Sharyn McCrumb
Publication date: 04/10/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 404
Sales rank: 365,670
File size: 361 KB

About the Author

Sharyn McCrumb is an award-winning Southern writer, best known for her Appalachian “Ballad” novels, set in the North Carolina/Tennessee mountains, including the
New York Times Best Sellers : The Ballad of Tom Dooley, She Walks These Hills and The Rosewood Casket. A forthcoming novel, Prayers the Devil Answers, will be published by Atria (Simon & Schuster) in 2016. Her novel, King’s Mountain (2013, St. Martin’s Press), the story of the 1780 Revolutionary War battle and the Overmountain Men, received a DAR Award from the Edward Buncombe Chapter (NC)., and is taught in schools and featured at a number of historical museums.

In April 2014, Sharyn McCrumb was awarded the Mary Frances Hobson Prize for Southern Literature by North Carolina’s Chowan University. Named a “Virginia Woman of History” in 2008 for Achievement in Literature, she was a guest author at the National Festival of the Book in Washington, D.C. sponsored by the White House in 2006.

St. Dale, The Canterbury Tales in a NASCAR setting, in which ordinary people on a pilgrimage in honor of racing legend Dale Earnhardt find a miracle, won a 2006 Library of Virginia Award as well as the AWA Book of the Year Award.

Sharyn McCrumb’s books are frequently used in One Community/One Book programs, most recently King’s Mountain by Alleghany County, NC; The Ballad of Frankie Silver by the town of Gallatin TN and Volunteer State College; and The Devil Amongst the Lawyers in Winchester VA.

Sharyn McCrumb's other best-selling novels include The Ballad of Frankie Silver, the story of the first woman hanged for murder in the state of North Carolina (new edition, March 2013,) Ghost Riders, an account of the Civil War in the mountains of western North Carolina, which won the Wilma Dykeman Award for Literature given by the East Tennessee Historical Society and the Audie Award for Best Recorded Book, was published in a new edition in March 2012 by J.F. Blair Press. A theatrical version of Ghost Riders was staged in June 2014 at the Parkway Playhouse in Burnsville NC.
A graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, with an M.A. from Virginia Tech, she lives and writes in the Virginia Blue Ridge. Sharyn McCrumb is the subject of the book From A Race of Storytellers: The Ballad Novels of Sharyn McCrumb. Ed: Kimberley M. Holloway. Mercer University Press, 2005.

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Songcatcher 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up by accident, but I was so glad I did. It was a wonderful book, that made you just feel good all over when you were finished.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love all her ballad tales and this is one of the best. Beautifully woven storytelling, rich in characters and memories of days long past. Thank you for a glorious read.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1751 Islay off the Scottish coast, Malcolm McCourry is abducted and turned into a slave on board a ship heading to the New World. On the trek, he hears and learns a haunting ballad. In America, Malcolm makes the most of his fate and soon becomes a lawyer and starts a family. He hands down the ballad to his sons.

Over a couple of centuries later, country singer Lark McCourry flies from her California home to see her ailing father. When her plane crashes in the Carolina Mountains, she calls police dispatcher Ben Hawkins. However, she wastes her cell phone battery by asking for his help in finding the family song she vaguely remembers from her youth rather than for her rescue. He turns to Nora, who can help with the song, but not with finding Lark.

THE SONGCATCHER is a tremendously rich epic that sweeps across two and a half centuries. The story line is loaded with depth as readers get a deep glimpse into strong characters that cross the American generational spectrum since the birth of the nation in a combined historical and contemporary plot. Sharyn McCrumb¿s latest novel turns into a delightful gourmet meal for anyone who wants a deep ballad filled with humor and poignancy as reading material.

Harriet Klausner

Romonko on LibraryThing 5 months ago
In her usual lyrical way, Sharyn McCrumb tells two stories in one in this book. One is story that goes back to the late 18 century. A story that begins in Scotland and ends in a remote North Carolina mountain cabin. The other story is set in the late 20 century, and is about a plane crash in a remote mountain area that is also in the North Carolina mountains. Ms. McCrumb binds these two disparate stories together with an old folk song and a family thread. The book is the story of young Malcolm McCoury and his colourful and varied life. Then we are introduced to a number of his his descendants, and the lives that they led. It's a lot of ground to cover and a lot of years, but Ms. McCrumb seems to tie it all together to make a cohesive whole. We find at the end of the book that she is actually covering her own family history, and it is a fascinating insight into what life is like in this little corner of the world.
grundlecat on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Delightful book based on McCrumb's own family history. It brings together the elements of mystery, a bit of mysticism, music, and genealogy in a wonderful blend. One of her best, and the best book I've read in some time.
addunn3 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
The author weaves a genealogical tale around songs that were handed down from generation to generation. Makes for interesting reading - and be sure to read the afterword.
SFM13 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This story revolves around a song that evolves from generation to generation. The novel begins in the Appalachin Mountains, and the song begins in the Scottish Isle. Lark, the main character, is searching for a song she vaguely remembers hearing as a child. Malcom, one of Lark's ancestors, learned the song as a ship's cabin boy. The connection between the past and present foreshadows the recovery of the song for the reader. For Lark the search isn't so easy. She is lost in a plane crash, and her father dies before she is able to see him one last time. The song (The Rowan Stave) is about a girl tending sheep and the ghosts she sees in a nearby church graveyard. I tried to make a connection between the song and the story. I don't know if the lyrics have a literal relationship, but Lark, as the sheperd girl is changed when she endures the plane crash. Upon rescue, she has to face the ghost of her father to make peace. The experience definitely changes her.
chmessing on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I really enjoyed this entire series, but this particular book was probably my favorite. The concept of a "songcatcher" and the interesting traditions of rural Appalachia made for a very satisfying read.
buckeyeaholic on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This was my first introduction to Sharyn McCrumb. Nicely written. One of those 'light' reads. Pieces of the puzzle come together as a singer waits to be rescued from a plane crash, a sheriff tries to solve an age old crime & the lost lyrics to a folk song are remembered.
LisaDunckley More than 1 year ago
Another good entry in the Ballad series by Sharyn McCrumb! I do love books where there are two different stories linked together, and few do it better than this author. In The Songcatcher, the two stories are of Folksinger Lark McCourry who is trying to track down a song that she has a vague memory of, and of her ancestor Malcolm MacQuarry, who has learned the song while being shanghaied aboard a ship as a child. As always, there is a skillful blending of the two stories. Nora Bonesteel, the 70+ year old ex Sunday school teacher who stays out of people's business but who is always drawn in against her will is consulted. Nora is not only a keeper of local history and knowledge, but she has the ability to see ghosts and to know what has happened to people before her time. One of my favorite things about McCrumb's series is the fact that each book has a traditional ballad associated with it (hence the “Ballad series” name). I love the old songs, and how McCrumb relates them to the story. So in this book, I really enjoyed the multiple old songs, and the fact that the sought after folk song is so integral to the story. As always, both story lines are satisfactorily wrapped up at the end. Very enjoyable!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book started so great and I couldn't put it down. I really got to know the characters. I found myself skipping the entries about present day and going to the next chapter about the past. But the ending somewhat was dissapointing, it wasn't very thrilling. But I liked this book, nonetheless.