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Publisher's Summary

Any successful scholar will make personal sacrifices to enhance his research. But most are never expected to include a suspect marriage to a barefoot hill girl. Musicologist J. Monroe Farley hopes to prove that the wilds of the Ozark Mountains preserved the language and music of an era gone by. Hill girl Meggie Best only hopes for a handsome prince to make her dreams come true. Neither expects to have life suddenly upended by a jar of bad piccalilli and a skunk.
This story set in the Ozarks of 1903 recalls mountain ways and wiles as unique as the music the traveling scholar seeks. Publisher's Weekly awarded a starred review and described the story as "rich and heady as a jug of mountain 'donk' - and just as hard to put down."
©1994 Pamela Morsi (P)2015 Pamela Morsi
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By bec on 03-01-16

Historical Romance in the Ozarks - with music


It's the early 1900s and musicologist J. Monroe Farley (Roe) has travelled to the Ozarks. He has a theory and wants to study the music of the area.
He meets up with the Best family, daughter Meggie believes he is the Prince Charming she has dreamed of for so many years. With both coming from completely different backgrounds, Meggie being raised in the Ozarks and Roe educated at Harvard, they certainly don't share the same life view. It is their different outlooks and different life expectations that provide the story with plenty of scope, some quite humorous.
I found it quite slow to start, consequently it took me a while to become involved in the story, but I did like the way the characters slowly developed and moved towards an appreciative realisation of each others differences.
I quite enjoyed the book and though I appreciate the quality and style of the writing, as it is a romance, albeit historical, I don't think I quite fit the intended readership, but the music helped it along.

A fine narration by Kevin Clay, I enjoyed the wonderful rhythmn and tone of his voice, very easy to listen to. His vocal gender changes and characterisations are excellent, the listener won't be left guessing at who is speaking. For me, he made the story more interesting, he carries it along at the right pace and his timing is spot on. I enjoyed the accents, being non-American I can't vouch for the accuracy but they sounded pretty good to me.

Disclaimer: audiobook provided by the narrator in return for an honest review

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Terri C. on 01-25-16

A layered story of love, hardship and differences!

I was given this audio book free in exchange for an honest review. This story was set in the Ozark Mountains in the early 1900's. It's the story of J. Monroe Farley, who has traveled to the Ozarks to capture the songs and music of the area to try to confirm his theory that it is still a pure form of early music brought to the country by their ancestors. Upon arriving to the Ozarks he stumbles across the Best family and reluctantly agrees to stay with them after suffering greatly from the daughter's attempt at cooking.
Meggie Best has read fairy tales all her life and has been waiting for her Prince Charming to arrive. She's convinced that Roe is all she's been waiting for until he announces that he has no intention of marrying her and then becomes ill from her cooking. Prince Charming, indeed! She's attracted to him, but over him. Her brother, Simple Jess, has declared that Roe is his friend and goes about trying to teach Roe to farm the poor land.
There are many moments of hilarity, misunderstandings and cultural clashes. There's also the attraction between barefoot Meggie and cultured Roe. There are actual songs thrown in the mix that really added a lot to the story. The different voices used by Kevin Clay added even more. At first it felt like this was going to be a simple book telling a simple story, but as it develops you realize the many different types and depths of love displayed in this story. It really was beautiful. I can't wait to go on to the story of Simple Jess.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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