No one knows where the Tufa came from, or how they ended up in the mountains of East Tennessee. When the first Europeans came to the Smoky Mountains, the Tufa were already there. Dark-haired and enigmatic, they live quietly in the hills and valleys of Cloud County, their origins lost to history. But there are clues in their music, hidden in the songs they have passed down for generations….
Private Bronwyn Hyatt, a true daughter of the Tufa, has returned from Iraq wounded in body and spirit. But her troubles are far from over. Cryptic omens warn of impending tragedy, while a restless “haint” has followed her home from the war. Worse yet, Bronwyn has lost touch with herself and with the music that was once a part of her. With death stalking her family, will she ever again join in the song of her people, and let it lift her onto the night winds?
Named one of the Best Fiction Books of 2011 by Kirkus Reviews, The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe is an enchanting tale of music and magic older than the hills. . . .
This is one of the books I picked up for my daily run to work to hear as an audiobook in my car and never having heard of Alex Bledsoe, I was in for a surprise! The book was good, it got me enthralled from the first few chapters, making me think of these gorgeous raven-haired people living in the mountains, like some sort of isolated clan. But in modern days. We have helicopters, we have Iraq war, we have mobile phones, and we have a village where everyone knows everybody else’s business and the only secrets kept are the ones of the townspeople themselves (towards outsiders).
Amidst the fanfare of her homecoming, Bronwyn must find her own song again and make a new place for herself among the Tufa. The haint that waits outside her window offers no more comfort than her hell-raising ex-boyfriend or the omens of death that surround her family.
In her home town of Needsville, they called her The Bronwynator long before her “heroic” action in a foreign land. But age and experience have changed her. Bronwyn is no longer a rebellious teen. She’s a determined young woman, hell-bent on choosing her own path in life, regardless of what her parents, friends and community think is best. This is more than a coming-of-age tale, and the community is more than just an Appalachian village.
About the Author
I grew up in west Tennessee an hour north of Graceland (home of Elvis) and twenty minutes from Nutbush (birthplace of Tina Turner). I’ve been a reporter, editor, photographer and door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman.
I now live in a Wisconsin town famous for trolls, write before six in the morning and try to teach my three kids to act like they’ve been to town before.