Read The Rosewood Casket by Sharyn McCrumb Online


Randall Stargill lies dying on his southern Appalachian farm, and his four sons have come home to build him a coffin from the cache of rosewood he has hoarded for the special purpose. Meanwhile, mountain wisewoman Nora Bonesteel, Randall's sweetheart of long ago, prepares another box for his burial—a small box containing human bones......

Title : The Rosewood Casket
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780451184719
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 432 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Rosewood Casket Reviews

  • Jackson Burnett
    2019-07-10 12:50

    A number of intriguing elements intertwined through this book. The narrative lost focus about a third of the way through. McCrumb probably could have made this a masterpiece if she had set it aside and went back to it later for serious editing and reworking. It's really too bad she didn't.

  • Bettie☯
    2019-07-06 12:45

    Description: Randall Stargill lies dying on his southern Appalachian farm, and his four sons have come home to build him a coffin from the cache of rosewood he has hoarded for the special purpose. Meanwhile, mountain wisewoman Nora Bonesteel, Randall's sweetheart of long ago, prepares another box for his burial—a small box containing human bones...A story containing angels. Nice series this, what with the local folklore and indiosyncratic inhabitants.3* She Walks These Hills (Ballad, #3)3* The Rosewood Casket (Ballad, #4)3* The Ballad of Frankie Silver (Ballad, #5)

  • Amy
    2019-07-01 07:38

    I really liked this story. I loved the feel of the book--like I was sitting on the porch in a rocking chair watching the clouds in the sky, listening to an old southern grandmother tell the story. It just had a really pleasant, easy-going feeling. But it wasn't just a pleasant, easy-going book. The story really moved along and I was never bored or tempted to skim. I liked the flashbacks that interrupted the story for just a minute and told some of the backstory. Instead of just being distracting, they were a complete story in their own right, a story I wanted to hear more of. And parts of the story were harsh and forced me to face the worst in humanity. Some people didn't treat each other particularly well, which may have been a reflection of the hardness of life on the mountain. Other people were truly likable. I found myself rooting for them to survive and succeed.I liked the ending a lot. There was some sadness, but overall I think it was happily-ever-after. I'll definitely be reading more by Sharyn McCrumb and I'm hoping to run into some of the characters from this book again.

  • June Ahern
    2019-07-17 11:46

    My first time to read Sharyn McCrumb, but a favorite author of my sisters, so I read "The Rosewood Casket". The story starts out with clarity and promise. The prologue is intriguing enough to pull a reader in. Ms. McCrumb, very vividly, describes the wooded southern area and captures the people so well. I truly felt as though I was in the mystic and beautiful place. The story continues with an elderly man who lives alone and needs to be hospitalized His family, all sons and their wives, come from here and there to care for his needs and prepare for his death. Then there is - confusion. Too much about each character and less about moving the story plot along. The plot actually becomes intertwining of personalities, purpose, and history that I found the story hard to follow. And throw in a devious real estate investor, a police officer, a neighbor and I'm like, really where are we going? Too many times. The author is an excellent writer but this book was long and took me months to finish. It ended up being the book I went to in between other books. I think I'll try another of her books though because she does write so beautifully. The Skye in June

  • Thea
    2019-06-29 07:52

    Meh.In a nutshell, this book is about how what goes around comes around; in the context of this novel, if you take someone's land, someone will eventually come and take your land (or the land of your future offspring). McCrumb uses the sad story of the Americas to illustrate a moral point, reaching back to Daniel Boone's days of European settlers stealing land from Native Americans (though somehow he's revered, right?) and following this thread to 20th century America, where a family -- presumably offspring of the aforementioned sticky-fingered settlers -- in Appalachian Tennessee is on the verge of having their farm "stolen" (read: bought for cheap) by a greedy developer.But there's more to the story than this, isn't there? Well, there is, but things become muddled. Just what is the point here? The moral lesson gets overshadowed by the story of an old, dying man who wants his four scattered (and, frankly, jerkish) sons to return to the family homestead and build his casket. Each son has a significant other, and trying to keep up with the plot lines of the four grown men, the women in their lives, the dying man, two little girls (one alive, one not), an old woman who has the gift of second sight, and the greedy land developer was a bit exhausting. Oh, I forgot: add to that list the old man and his daughter whose farm the developer wants to buy, Daniel Boone, and also a weird, out-of-place chapter from the point of view of Nancy Ward, an 18th/19th century Cherokee woman.I see what McCrumb was going for, I really do. I just would have preferred a more simple telling of the story, and for that matter, maybe less of the story: narrowing the focus instead of casting such a wide net. To me, the most interesting plot line revolved around the ghost girl and the circumstances surrounding her life and death. Come to think of it, why was that plot line even included? It was a thread that ran through the entire book, but honestly, if it had been left out, I don't think it would have mattered.I like spooky stories. I like stories about Appalachia. I like spooky stories about Appalachia, and I really wanted to like this book, but to me it was too disjointed. There's an awful lot going on, and I never knew where to "look," so to speak.

  • Beth
    2019-07-02 09:50

    The Rosewood Casket was recommended to me, for my love of magical realism. And I am very grateful for that recommendation! This novel is set in Appalachian Tennessee, basically a foreign country to me, but McCrumb details both the culture and the landscape in a beautifully poetic way.At its heart, this is not just a story of the Stargill family, but of the timeless transition of land-tied creatures being forced to move, and indeed, of consequences. It's the story of Daniel Boone, the Cherokee, indigenous species that have been shoved out by invasive species, and the development of farm land into McMansions and planned communities in the 1980's. But it's also the story of a collection of men and women that McCrumb paints as three-dimensional, realistically flawed, and equally broken. There is no sole protagonist or antagonist, though Clayte is most often the narrative voice- it's truly an ensemble piece. And one that plays with your expectations.I highly recommend it for fans of magical realism, place-centric fiction, historical-influenced contemporary stories, those who enjoy the Appalachian culture, and adults who can relate to having dysfunctional families.

  • LJ
    2019-06-24 14:53

    THE ROSEWOOD CASKET - VGMcCrumb, Sharyn - 4th in Ballad seriesOld man Stargill is dying, and his four grown sons are called home to the small mountain town where they grew up to say good-bye and carry out their daddy's dying wish: that his "boys" build him a rosewood casket. But a dying man's wishes aren't the only problems the splintered Stargills are forced to face. Emotions ride high, and tempers flare because if it isn't a vulture-like land developer going after the family farm, or old lady Bonesteel delivering a mysterious box she insists must be buried with Stargill, or a small child disappearing, it's a neighbor going berserk or a shocking, long-forgotten tragedy resurfacing to add more pain to the family's grief.It's not much of a mystery but it is a wonderfully atmospheric story with a great setting. Sense of place of the people in Tennessee back country is wonderful. There is a well-done ghost and elements that make the story very compelling.

  • Mary
    2019-07-10 11:31

    I was really disappointed in this book. It started out with a very intriguing premise, and the characters, at first, felt very realistic and with quite a lot of depth. But about halfway through, I realized that nothing was really going to happen plot-wise, and the one big "event" that does occur happens to one of the minor characters that I couldn't have cared less about. The book has meandering side steps, going into detail about things like the inner thoughts of a random paramedic or doctor treating a main character, which seemed to serve no purpose. The primary "mystery" of the story is only solved at the very end, and it's about what you'd expect. While the author does do a nice job of describing how beautiful this part of the country is, the story goes nowhere and has no real direction or purpose.

  • Rachelle Kirby
    2019-07-10 07:46

    I love the way Sharyn McCrumb writes, her style is so unique and her stories always draw me in. I love the way she blends southern family drama, history, and supernatural elements. Nora Bonesteel is my favorite of all McCrumb's characters. My heart broke for Randall Stargill in this story at what it must be like to die sick and alone.

  • Dennis Fischman
    2019-06-23 08:39

    This is a deeply resonant book about how secrets, silence, poverty, and war haunt two families and the whole Appalachian region. It’s also a continuation of the story of Nora Bonesteel, seer. All that is wrapped up in an installment of a police procedural series. Come for the detective story; stay for the novel.

  •  PuMbA's MoMmy*•.♥.•*
    2019-07-05 13:54

    I almost gave up on this book. To be honest I found the first half to be very boring. Some of the historical parts on the mountains & the American frontier was interesting but some was just tedious to read. As I stated before on a past reading update: This author sure has an obsession with Daniel Boone! lol I will say that I learned about who he was and that was sort of interesting. I can also tell by the author's writing that she loves her mountains! I read more about the author after reading this book and read somewhere that she lives in the mountains where her family first settled over 100 years ago. That was an interesting fact all in itself. The story was good. It took a minute for it to pick up speed and I am now glad that I didn't give up on this book. The mystery behind the bones that were in the box was intruiging. I did feel that once it was discovered who the bones belonged to, that it would have added more depth to the story if the author would have added more to the story of how the person's bones came to be and how that person died. On a little side note: An annoying thing about the story was that the 2 main families in the story had very smiliar last names. It made it confusing when reading trying to keep up with who's family the chapters were pertaining to. I couldn't really keep track of this until a little over halfway through the book. I am on the fence on whether or not I would recommend this book. I would say yes and no. Some might find the beginning boring as I did and some might love the mystery that comes halfway through the book. Pick this one up and see if it's for you!

  • Nigel
    2019-06-21 08:52

    In the Appalachian mountains, a man lies down to sleep and doesn't wake up. He isn't dead yet, but he isn't far off. A handwritten letter instructs his four surviving sons to build a coffin out of rosewood and bury him on the land. With their wives and partners in tow, they set to, but there are tragedies all around them. The ghost of a young girl whose bones are delivered to them in a rosewood box. The slow death of a way of life as a land speculator schemes and manipulates to drive people out of their homes. As the sons struggle to come to terms with their father's impending demise, more death lies in wait.'More death lies in wait.' Heh, that's melodramatic, and accurate, but this isn't a melodramatic book, for all its gothic and thriller elements. The narrative hearkens back to the previous century, as one lot of people face disruption and displacement, to the present of the book, when another lot of people face the same. The latter-day land-grab may not be as bloody, but it is still protracted, painful and rife with injustice. McCrumb builds to a final, heartbreaking, suspense-filled climax in a setting haunted by ghosts and secrets and terrible tragedies.

  • Catherine
    2019-07-08 12:47

    My introduction to McCrumb's Appalachian ballad series. Loved its intermingling of current life, Anglo-Appalachian history and Cherokee belief. Stumbled across the book as my Mother was undergoing gallbladder surgery and the complication of a botched surgery.She almost died and I waited until I knew she was okay before suggesting this title. I told her that I felt it would have been extremely insensitive for me to send her this book by a writer I had just discovered, given the title, until I knew that she was going to be okay. Mother's response was a laugh and suggestions to read the other books. She was as usual many books ahead of me. I miss that exchange of good book suggestions, especially mysteries, with her.

  • Kate
    2019-07-13 12:27

    Sharyn McCrumb is fast becoming one of my favorite authors! The Appalachian Mountains are not one of the places I naturally gravitate to for reading, but this is the second (or maybe third) book of hers set in that area, and I like each one better. I especially like the character of Nora Bonesteel, who appears in each of these books. Nora has The Sight, and it always adds an interesting dimension to the plot.This one, as they all did, ends in a way I would never have predicted. Did I like the ending? No, but it was the only possible one given the events leading up to it.All things considered, I really liked this book, and can recommend it most highly.

  • Kirsty Darbyshire
    2019-07-03 07:28

    Magic stuff. I forget how good a writer McCrumb is between books. She weaves history and culture and the real past together with a fictional present and comes up with unputdownable stories that become tales not just of a few characters but of the whole society of Appalachia. This is the story of what happens when old man Randall Stargill is dying and his four sons and their partners gather at the family farm in the mountains to carry out his last wish, to build him the rosewood casket of the title. It's much less of a mystery than the earlier books in the series have been but it's the best imagined story of the series yet.

  • Kw
    2019-07-19 09:36

    I loved seeing our "favorite family history story" mentioned three times in the novel, and noting one of my ancestors' names in a quote by Daniel Boone. What fun! So my review may be prejudiced by that, but I really did enjoy this story and the historical references enhanced it. How the Appalachians were formed and how they've changed - the topography and the people and even the birds and animals - was very interesting. A good read.If you're curious, the link tells the story of my great-great (etc.) grandmother and her sister's and cousin's capture by Indians, and of their rescue.

  • Linda
    2019-06-29 13:50

    The Rosewood Casket is a very interesting novel about true events of the Appalachian Mountains. I love reading books by Sharyn McCrumb because they are always so well written you feel you there during those times yourself. I have been to a couple of book signing she has come to in my area and she tells about her research she does before writing the novels. I highly recommend her books to any who like historical novels of the Appalachians. Also, if you get a chance to go to her book signings you will not be disappointed.

  • Denise
    2019-07-02 08:52

    Love, love, loved this one! The Rosewood Casket had all the right elements of a great book for me. Namely, it has an Appalachian setting, dysfunctional family issues, and an engaging mystery element. I recommend this book for others interested in Appalachian family stories. You won't be disappointed.

  • Roben
    2019-07-19 07:34

    Met the lovely and earnest Sharon McCrumb at the Tennessee Library Association convention. She was enthusiastic about her research. I appreciate her literary contributions weaving history and legend of Appalachia.

  • Amy
    2019-07-16 11:50

    I like Sharon McCrumb, and Nora Bonesteel is one of my favorite characters of hers. Her books are set in Appalachia. I remember reading this one a while back and liking it. Mystery, folk lore, tradition and change.

  • Jeanne Sheridan
    2019-07-04 07:33

    Great book! It was a little slow at times, but the good character development and story line make up for it.

  • Kaethe
    2019-07-01 12:26

    Enjoyable family mystery in Appalachians. Good sense of place.

  • Rachel
    2019-07-04 14:43

    hard to get into.. and ended kind of abruptly.

  • Loie
    2019-07-06 08:26

    I love Sharon McCrumb and her character Nora Bonesteel. What made me give this book a 3 star is that Nora isn't in the book more! We do find out a piece about her past but I missed her. Lots of reference to Daniel Boone stealing the land of the Indians and the karma of it happening to the families living in the Appalachian Mountains today. This is the story of a dysfunctional group of 4 brothers, their dying father and a casket with small bones in it. This was not her best novel and I wouldn't recommend it as a first introduction to McCrumb but it was worth the time.

  • Judy
    2019-06-25 08:44

    I love the language and rhythm of McCrumb's books, all of them, including this one. The Appalachian manner, for lack of a better word, and the deep connection to the land resonates so strongly with me that reading her books is sort of like visiting home. My ancestors came from the mountains and I live in the very southernmost area of the Appalachians, so I suppose that explains why I fall into McCrumb's mountain books like falling into a mound of cozy blankets.The only other author who affects me this way is Manly Wade Wellman, especially in his Silver John novels.

  • Ann Parks
    2019-07-18 09:29

    An interesting look at the relationship between four brothers as adults, as well as the relationships between members of the community and the family at the heart of the story. A good read--sufficiently entertaining to keep me reading but not a page turner.

  • Erin Woodall
    2019-06-30 10:40

    I enjoyed this book. It took a little to get into it, but once I did I really liked it.

  • Cathy
    2019-06-26 07:28

    Really enjoyed the tale. Lotsa Appalachian history, Daniel Boone lore, and modern mystery to boot. Good characters and setting - well done!

  • Pat King
    2019-06-28 10:26

    Very good, poignant, sad even at times. Liked the running theme of Daniel Boone and Nancy ward.

  • Candice
    2019-06-20 10:26

    Sharyn McCrumb's books include a lot of background material, and I love it. She includes the history and prehistory of the land as well as legends. I also like the character of Nora Bonesteel, who appears in many of the books set in the Appalachian mountains. Nora has "the sight" and can often tell when something good or bad is going to happen before it does. She does not abuse this gift, and it makes for interesting reading. In this book, as old Randall Stargill lays dying, his four sons and their significant others arrive to discuss what should be done with the old family farm. Through the different characters, the author explores the various thoughts on whether to keep the land or to dispose of it. Clayt, a Daniel Boone re-enactor, wants to make the land an undeveloped conservation spot. Other brothers, with mortgages to pay and thinking of the medical bills their father is running up, talk of selling to a developer who will build luxury homes. Nora Bonesteel brings a box containing a child's bones to the family and says that the bones should be interred with Randall, but does not explain to whom the bones belonged. I did figure out whose bones they were from flashbacks in the story, but it wasn't until near the end of the book that the complete story of the bones is revealed.Mixed in with this story is that of the Stallard father and daughter who are in danger of losing their land. Dovey Stallard's love of the land leads to some surprising and terrible acts. I did wish McCrumb had used a different name for one of the families, as Stargill and Stallard are so similar.Since I listened to the book, I do have something to say about the narration. When she was using a child's voice or was indicating that a character was whispering, she dropped her voice very low and I had to turn up the volume control on my player. This should not have been necessary. In a print book, when someone whispers you do not see it in print too small to read. So why should a narrator speak in words too quiet to hear?