Prayers the Devil Answers: A Novel

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Simon and Schuster, Apr 25, 2017 - Fiction - 352 pages
6 Reviews
In Depression-era Appalachia, a desperate sheriff’s widow takes on her late husband’s job and discovers that a prayer the devil answers comes at a terrible price.

The year is 1936 and society provides no safety net for newly widowed Ellie Robbins, a woman in a small mountain town who suddenly has to support her family on her own. She’s not trained to be a teacher or a nurse, the only respectable careers for a woman. So in order to care for her children, Ellie takes the only job available: that of her late husband, the sheriff.

Ellie has long proven that she can handle herself, and her role as sheriff is largely symbolic. Yet the wariness of her male subordinates and the townspeople is palpable. Soon, as dark secrets come to light, Ellie is forced to grapple with the tenuous ties she shares with a convicted killer and the small-town superstitions that have plagued her for years.

When a condemned killer is sentenced to death for his crime, her opportunity to do so presents itself in a way she never expected. There’s one task that only a sheriff can carry out: the execution of a convicted prisoner.

Atmospheric and suspenseful, Prayers the Devil Answers is rich with the same masterful attention to historical detail and captivating folklore that you cherished in McCrumb’s renowned Ballad novels. Her luscious writing brings her unforgettable characters to life with the “pure poetry” (The New York Times Book Review) that defines her astounding novels. Prayers the Devil Answers is a mesmerizing depiction of one woman’s tenacity and strength in even the most harrowing of circumstances.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - delphimo - LibraryThing

Sharyn McCrumb weaves a story rich in folklore and relationships. This tale centers on Ellie Robbins a young woman with two young sons and a husband who becomes the county sheriff. The Depression Era ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bookczuk - LibraryThing

I like Sharyn McCrumb's novels for the slice of America she brings back to mind. It's been a long time since I read one of her books, and picked this up solely because of her name, but quickly became ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
10
Section 3
11
Section 4
24
Section 5
25
Section 6
42
Section 7
43
Section 8
48
Section 21
166
Section 22
185
Section 23
200
Section 24
201
Section 25
215
Section 26
216
Section 27
230
Section 28
242

Section 9
54
Section 10
59
Section 11
67
Section 12
68
Section 13
74
Section 14
85
Section 15
87
Section 16
100
Section 17
115
Section 18
125
Section 19
142
Section 20
152
Section 29
254
Section 30
272
Section 31
288
Section 32
289
Section 33
305
Section 34
322
Section 35
323
Section 36
334
Section 37
335
Section 38
339
Section 39
341
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About the author (2017)

Sharyn McCrumb is the New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Ballad novels. She has received a numerous honors for her work, including the Mary Frances Hobson Prize for Southern Literature, the AWA Book of the Year, and Notable Books in both the New York Times and LA Times. She was also named a “Virginia Woman of History” for Achievement in Literature. She lives and writes in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, fewer than one hundred miles from where her family settled in 1790.

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