Monday, April 2, 2012

Ghost on Black Mountain by Ann Hite

Another Book Off The Shelves!  Ah, I bought this last year, and promptly left it on my bookcase.  A book that patiently waited until I had time to read it.

I so wish I had read it right away.  I loved this one.  Yes, I love a lot of books, but this was a very entertaining read about Black Mountain, Nellie, and Hobbs.

It's 1938, and Nellie lives in Asheville, NC with her widowed mother. Nellie meets Hobbs at a soup kitchen where she's working, and instantly is attracted to Hobbs.

Hobbs is a nasty man.  Charming to few, hated by many.  He marries Nellie in a whirlwind courtship and soon drags her up Black Mountain to live in his old home.

This home has ghosts.  Hobbs is a bad man.  Did I say that already?
Black Mountain is full of "haints":  a little girl with roses in her hair, a young red-headed woman who warns Nellie about Hobbs, and the government worker Hocket who watches the house from the woods.  All are stuck on Black Mountain, wandering the roads and woods.  Nellie sees them all--and Hocket is bent on revenge.  Hobbs makes moonshine and isn't afraid to kill anyone who stands in his way.

Nellie's story winds its way through her first few months of marriage, as Hobbs leaves her home for weeks at a time with no company except Hobb's stepmother--yep, she's another ghost.  She's warning Nellie to get off the mountain, sure Hobbs will destroy Nellie's life and soon.

This story moves forward through the 40's and 50's, as Nellie makes a life-altering decision, and the consequences echo across Black Mountain and into the lives of others who knew Hobbs.

This was a great read!  Atmospheric, beautifully written, and a well-woven story with many strands that lead back to each other.  I enjoy reading my Southern stories, and this is one  author that I will read again.

I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys reading about the South---particularly the early 20th century (around WW 2), the culture of mountain living, and stories about "haints".  It's also a story about strong women making the best out of what they have--sometimes making difficult choices--to protect their daughters from making the same mistakes.

Rating:  4/5 for good writing and a great story!


  1. I did the same - and I still need to read it!

    Thanks for stopping by Book'd Out earlier

    Wishing you a great reading week!

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

  2. Just wanted to stop by and say HI. Hope all is well in Cedar Rapids. I love reading your blog except for the fact that my "to read" list keeps getting longer and longer. :-) Happy Easter.

    1. Hi Dawn!! Miss you and your dear Mom. We are all fine here...I miss talking to you and Karen about books! Sandra Dallas is coming to the store again in May for her new book. Let me know if you want a signed copy and I'll make sure to get you one--

  3. I love historical fiction, especially when it is set in the south. Thanks for your great review and recommendation.
    - FABR Steph

    1. You are welcome! I hope you read this one and let me know what you think.