Title: Ghost on Black Mountain
Author: Ann Hite
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: 13th September 2011
Format: E-Book PDF
Genre: Literary Fiction
Source: ARC from GalleyGrab
Part ghost story, part powerful sweeping epic, Ghost on Black Mountain is a powerful debut which launches a bright new voice in Southern fiction.
Meet the women of Black Mountain and the one man that ties them all together…
I married Hobbs Pritchard without noticing he was a spell conjured into a man—a walking, talking, ghost story. He took me up Black Mountain and it was there I learned sometimes good and bad get mixed together so well a person can’t tell the difference until it’s too late.
I fell deeply in love with Hobbs as if some hoodoo was put on me. Then Miss Nellie came into our lives and changed everything.
Hobbs Pritchard was like a spoiled potato at the bottom of the barrel. But my daughter Nellie didn’t believe me. Something stunk to high heavens, something rotten. Eventually I’d find out what it was…
I got me this gift—restless souls line up to get my notice no matter what I’m doing. Daddy warned me not to have nothing to do with the Pritchards. Some things in life just can’t be avoided and getting mixed up with Nellie was one of them.
Mama told me the same bedtime story each night. She told it with such detail I was sure Hobbs and Nellie were real. But they were just characters in a tale spun to keep me in line. They were my moral compass. Or so I believed…(Goodreads Synopsis)
This book is a wonderful blend of literary fiction and gothic suspense that will appeal to readers of Faulkner and of Poe.
This novel grabbed my attention from the opening pages and I found myself drawn into the story of Nellie, Hobbs and the other inhabitants of Black Mountain.
I loved the format of this piece as we hear the story from the perspective of five different women, who are all involved with Hobbs' story at one point or another. This format means that the timeline is not always linear, but that creates no problem as it is always very clear what point in the story we have reached.
There was a wonderful depth to the piece and it contained interesting looks at the dynamic of several mother-daughter relationships as well as the various romantic entanglements. Add to that a suspenseful ghost story and you have an amazing piece of writing.
This is one of those stories that definitely lingers in the mind long after you have put the book down and I will certainly be keen to read more from Ann Hite in the future.