THE ROSEWOOD CASKET by Sharyn McCrumb

THE ROSEWOOD CASKET

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Quite a homecoming for stricken Tennessee patriarch Randall Stargill's four sons: Their first family reunion in years includes at least one dead member, a child whose bones are duly presented to the family by elderly seer Nora Bonesteel. Nora quietly declines to identify the child or illuminate the mystery, but McCrumb is more obliging, dropping frequent hints about a ghostly girl who wanders the nearby woods, unable to take her final leave of the land. Just as this specter looks back to intrepid Cherokee fighter Nancy Ward and forward to a pair of present-day girls who'll retrace her steps, the Stargill boys (hardheaded car dealer Robert Lee, Army officer Garrett, country singer Charles Martin, and jack-of-all-natures Clayt) and their neighbors, J.Z. Stallard and his daughter Dovey--threatened, all of them, with losing their homes to a rapacious developer--will reenact the agon of Daniel Boone, the pioneer who opened the land to the very settlers who took it from him. (For readers who want even more deceased characters, there's the Stargills' late brother Dwayne, and Rudy, the angel confidante of Robert Lee's wife.) The properties' fate will be settled by a long-portended, but utterly unexpected, act of violence. The real mystery, though, is how McCrumb can make the Stargills' ties to the land they hardly know so heartbreaking. Not quite the equal of She Walks These Hills (1994)--after all, what is?--but still grave, poignant, and altogether magical. (First printing of 75,000; Literary Guild selection; Mystery Guild selection)

Pub Date: May 13th, 1996
ISBN: 0-525-94011-1
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1996




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