Audiobook Review: THE STORYCATCHER by Ann Hite

Format: Audiobook; 10 hrs, 33 mins
Narrator: Allyson Johnson
Publisher: Gallery Books/AudioGo
Released: September 10, 2013
Source: eBook review copy from Edelweiss/Audiobook borrowed from the library
Rating: ★★★★★

Shelly Parker never much liked Faith Dobbins, the uppity way that girl bossed her around. But they had more in common than she knew. Shelly tried to ignore the haints that warned her Faith’s tyrannical father, Pastor Dobbins, was a devil in disguise. But when Faith started acting strange, Shelly couldn’t avoid the past—not anymore.

Critically acclaimed, award-winning author Ann Hite beckons readers back to the Depression-era South, from the saltwater marshes of Georgia’s coast to the whispering winds of North Carolina’s mystical Black Mountain, in a mesmerizing gothic tale about the dark family secrets that come back to haunt us.

Ann Hite’s previous novel, GHOST ON BLACK MOUNTAIN, is one of my favorite books, and I think I enjoyed THE STORYCATCHER, set a few years after the first, even more. The book is told from the point of view of several strong, compelling female characters, some living and some ghosts.

The main character is Shelly Parker, a teenage girl living with her mother, Amanda, on Black Mountain. They work for Pastor Dobbins, his wife, Lydia, and their daughter, Faith. Shelly has the gift of sight, and she can see restless haints all over the mountain. These ghosts were wronged in life, and they need someone to tell their stories so others won’t meet their fate.

THE STORYCATCHER is Southern Gothic fiction at its best, complete with dark family secrets, a haunting setting, an eerie murder mystery, enchanting folklore, and complex characters whose stories are pieces of an intricate puzzle. I grew up in the South, but I wasn’t familiar with storycatchers, granny women, and death quilts. Now, I know!  The big reveal at the end of this book was a jaw-dropper. I did not see that coming. 5 stars!

I listened to most of this book (95%) on audio CD that I borrowed from the library. The narrator, Allyson Johnson, was A-MAZING! There were numerous characters in this book, and she captured the essence of each and every one beautifully. THE STORYCATCHER is going on my top three favorite audiobook performances.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.