The Hollows: A Novel

The Hollows: A Novel

by Jess Montgomery


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Jess Montgomery showcases her skills as a storyteller in The Hollows: a powerful, big-hearted and exquisitely written follow-up to her highly acclaimed debut The Widows.

Ohio, 1926: For many years, the railroad track in Moonvale Tunnel has been used as a shortcut through the Appalachian hills. When an elderly woman is killed walking along the tracks, the brakeman tells tales of seeing a ghostly female figure dressed all in white.

Newly elected Sheriff Lily Ross is called on to the case to dispel the myths. With the help of her friends Marvena Whitcomb and Hildy Cooper, Lily follows the woman’s trail to The Hollows—a notorious asylum—and they begin to expose dark secrets long-hidden by time and the mountains.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250184542
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/14/2020
Series: The Kinship Series , #2
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 77,822
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

JESS MONTGOMERY is the Literary Life columnist for the Dayton Daily News and former Executive Director of the renowned Antioch Writers’ Workshop in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Based on early chapters of The Hollows, Jess was awarded an Ohio Arts Council individual artist’s grant for literary arts and the John E. Nance Writer-in-Residence at Thurber House in Columbus. She lives in her native state of Ohio.

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The Hollows 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Samantha1020 7 days ago
4.5 stars - Wow! I am so, so glad that I had the opportunity to read this book and find this series. It was SO good! I picked this one up and almost instantly knew that it was the kind of book that you take your time with. I've got to admit that's exactly what I did as I let the author wrap me up in the story that she was telling and these characters lives. It wasn't always an easy read as it stays very true to the historical period that it is set in. Women's rights are iffy at times and there was a different expectation of how a woman should behave back then. It's set during a time period when integration was beginning to happen but not everyone was on board with it yet. It touches on some very difficult topics to read about but I felt like the book handled them true to the time period in which it was set. One of the things that I enjoyed most about this book was how the author brought these characters to life for me. This is the second book in a series where I haven't yet read the first. It didn't matter though because the author was still able to bring these characters to life in a way that they almost felt like old friends. They had imperfections and didn't always make the best decisions but that made them feel all the more real. I'm going to make a broad proclamation here with only having read the one book in this series but this book gave me serious Louise Penny vibes. They are very different as this is a historical mystery whereas Penny's series is not. But it is something about how both authors bring both the characters and the towns that they live in to life that really struck a chord with me. I felt like I was there in the hollows when reading this book right alongside of Lily and her friends. It was just SO good and I'm so excited to have found this author and series! Overall, I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be reading more in this series! The more historical mysteries I read, the more I realize how much I enjoy this genre. This book was a definite standout for me! I don't think that you should rush through reading this one but instead just take your time with it like I did. It was a really wonderful reading experience that way! I really was able to connect with the characters - even when at times I was frustrated with the choices that they were making. I won't be waiting long to read the first book and then I will eagerly be waiting for the next release! This a book that I can highly recommend! Bottom Line: An atmospheric mystery that I just couldn't get enough of! Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a TLC book tour. Honest thoughts are my own.
BuriedUnderBooks 9 days ago
The Appalachians are a vast and very old area covering all or parts of thirteen states in the eastern part of the US plus some of eastern Canada, a system that includes a variety of mountain ranges, and the descendants of its original settlers are a different breed from most of us. Take it back almost a hundred years and the people are even more distinctive, a blend of European and Native American backgrounds with their own culture, who lived simply, apart from “mainstream” America by choice. In The Hollows, Ms. Montgomery has captured the beauty of this one small portion of the Appalachians and the unique inhabitants of the period. There are also secrets to be discovered by Lily and her friends, along with the reader, as well as immersion into the racial divides, labor organizing and societal inhibitions that plagued women at the time and the mystery of what really happened to the old woman. The word “hollows” carries a double meaning here, referring to a geographical distinction found in the mountains but also, in this case, to what turns out to be an insane asylum as dark as anything you’ve ever heard of. Meanwhile, Lily is running for re-election against great odds and the Women’s Ku Klux Klan, the auxiliary of the better-known men’s organization, is creating trouble in the community. A book like this one appeals to me greatly because I came away from it knowing a bit more about our American history and, along the way, enjoyed a journey through a beautiful and compelling setting. The characters are vivid and fully fleshed out, the three women in particular, and they created in me a strong empathy for them. I haven’t yet read the first book, The Widows, but I’ll be doing so forthwith and, in the meantime, I’m adding The Hollows to my list of best books read in 2020.
Annette5151 3 months ago
I thought this book started out a bit slow and I had some trouble following it. However not quite halfway through it suddenly got better. It had some interesting history weaved in the story. I liked the spunkiness of Lilly and the determination of the other characters. I ended up really liking the story much more than I expected. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the early copy
TJReads 3 months ago
I read Ms. Montgomery’s previous book, The Widows, which I loved and have been anxiously waiting for this one to be published. Sometimes the sequels don’t live up to the first one, but I will gladly say this one kept the story of Lily and Marvena going and absolutely nailed a great storyline. I’m not sure that you would need to read the first one of the series, because I think this can stand on its own, but you would certainly be missing out on another great book with foresight into the characters. Knowing their history made this one all the better. The research done on the underground railroad and the WKKK was excellent, the entire storyline was believable and well told. I can’t imagine how stressful it would be in a rural community to be a woman sheriff, Lily has quite the personality and tenacity that is needed. I liked her in the Widows and I think I like her even more in the Hollows. I highly recommend. I was given an advance copy from St. Martin’s Press through Net Galley for my honest review, this one gets 5 stars… Well worth the read.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Last year I read and reviewed this author's first book, The Widows. I thought it was a fantastic book, one that seemed very much the work of a seasoned author. I was very, very excited to receive this second novel in the series from NetGalley and St. Martin's Press; thank you!! I adored this book although I do acknowledge that it covers some very difficult topics. The plot has much to do with events that happened in this small, mountain, Ohio community during the Civil War. Those occurrences have haunted lives and are re-awakened in the present. The past and present intertwine as, during both time periods, there were many strains, struggles and injustices centered on race and discrimination. Kudos to the author for making the time period vivid and memorable, if not easy. Readers will learn something about the WKKK, an organization that I wish had never existed and about women who could be placed in asylums by the men in their lives. Mysteries will be solved but not in a merry, we can all be happy sort of way. The characters are so well portrayed. They are complex, struggling, some honorable, some not. The main protagonist, Lily, a female sheriff, is beautifully brought to life as are her close friends Marvena and a struggling Hildy. I was so happy to meet up with them again. This new novel can be read as a standalone. However, you may be so caught up in the lives of these people and their time, that you will read both novels in some order. I give this book five stars, something that I do not do lightly or often. If you enjoy this one, I would also highly recommend that you read the books by Julia Keller.