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Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb

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Sharyn McCrumb, an ever-popular fictional chronicler of dramatic and significant historical events in Appalachia, was inspired to write this novel by an interesting historical fact. The last public hanging in America was presided over by a female Sheriff in 1936 in Owensboro, Kentucky. Not surprisingly McCrumb sets the novel inspired by this fact in the Roanoke, Virginia, area where she has lived for decades. “Prayers the Devil Answers is a rich, astonishing, marvelous book. With a superb eye for detail, Sharyn McCrumb masterfully captures the essence of Depression-era Appalachia, its rough beauty, its folklore, and most of all, its people. Suspenseful and gritty, this compelling tale of a determined young widow confronting heartbreak and impossible choices will resonate long after the final page.” – Jennifer Chiaverini.


New York: Atria/Simon and Schuster, a 2017 paperback reprint of a 2016 release. 341 pages. Trade paperback.