Alex Bledsoe’s The Hum and the Shiver was named one of the Best Fiction Books of 2011 by Kirkus Reviews. Now Bledsoe returns to the isolated ridges and hollows of the Smoky Mountains to spin an equally enchanting tale of music and magic older than the hills….
Touched by a very public tragedy, musician Rob Quillen comes to Cloud County, Tennessee, in search of a song that might ease his aching heart. All he knows of the mysterious and reclusive Tufa is what he has read on the internet: they are an enigmatic clan of swarthy, black-haired mountain people whose historical roots are lost in myth and controversy. Some people say that when the first white settlers came to the Appalachians centuries ago, they found the Tufa already there. Others hint that Tufa blood brings special gifts.
Rob finds both music and mystery in the mountains. Close-lipped locals guard their secrets, even as Rob gets caught up in a subtle power struggle he can’t begin to comprehend. A vacationing wife goes missing, raising suspicions of foul play, and a strange feral girl runs wild in the woods, howling in the night like a lost spirit.
Change is coming to Cloud County, and only the night wind knows what part Rob will play when the last leaf falls from the Widow’s Tree…and a timeless curse must be broken at last.
for The Hum and the Shiver
“Beautifully written, surprisingly moving, and unexpected in the best of ways.""
—Seanan McGuire, New York Times bestselling author of Ashes of Honor
“Bledsoe crafts a deceptively simple story of family and community, laced with the music and beliefs of a magical reality.” —Library Journal, starred review
“This powerful, character-driven drama, set forth in superbly lucid prose, occurs against an utterly convincing backdrop and owns complications enough to keep everyone compulsively turning the pages. A sheer delight.”
–Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“It's a mixture: folk tales and folk songs, updated with a dose of Sex and the City. Or a rustic version of ‘urban fantasy,’ with its suggestion that there's mystery just around the corner, hidden behind even the dullest small-town façade.”
—The Wall Street Journal