Thursday, August 4, 2016

Review: Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb


Published May 10th 2016 by Simon and Schuster Audio 
Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb is considered to be #11 in her Ballad series.The book opens with a long description of a Dumb Supper that a group of girls is participating in to find out who they will marry. While it was interesting, it was also slow moving and made it a little hard to get into the book.

Things start to pick up with the when the plot turns to Albert and Eleanor Robbins. Poor Ellie is at her husband's deathbed. He was elected Sheriff only a short time before. Now he has contracted pneumonia.

When she is widowed, Ellie doesn't want to go back to live with her brother-in-law and his wife. Knowing she has to provide for her 2 boys, she approaches a county commissioner and works on convincing him that she can finish out the term of her husband's employ as sheriff. What follows is a description of how her time goes as Sheriff  in this 1936 small, rural town in Appalachia.

Things progress smoothly until a man decides to kill his wife. As the turn of events unfold, Ellie becomes responsible for his execution.

I listened to this as an audiobook read by Candace Thaxton. There are times her voice falls kind of flat and I wonder if that was for effect or if that's just the way she speaks.

Ellie is a most interesting character. There's a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, "A woman is like a tea bag- you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Ellie is a good wife and mother, but kind of shy and reluctant to talk to strangers. It's not until Albert dies that she finds the strength to do things she never could picture herself doing like going to the county commissioner and asking for Albert's job. She also finds the strength to stand up to her brother-in-law when he and his wife show up with the notion of taking her and her children back up the mountain to live with them. It's this previously hidden strength that serves Mrs. Robbins well in her time as Sheriff.

I give this audiobook 3 out of 5 stars. I liked it, but didn't think it was great. I might have a different opinion if I had read a hard copy instead. If you enjoy the Ballad series, you will probably enjoy this book. Be aware, it doesn't have Nora Bonesteel or any of the other recurring characters in it.

I borrowed my copy from my local library.