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The Unquiet Grave – Sharyn McCrumb

Title: The Unquiet Grave

Author: Sharyn McCrumb

Genre: Historical Fiction

Plot: Zona is a young woman in the late 1800’s. She’s a flirt and too trustworthy. At a young age she marries Erasmus “Trout” Shue, a man she barely knows and won’t share much of his past. Her mother cautions against it, but Zona won’t hear any of it. After their married, Trout won’t let her mother visit and Zona starts taking ill. Then, almost three months after their married, Zona dies. Trout swears she fell down the stairs, but he won’t let anyone else near her body. He also doesn’t seem too bothered that she’s gone. Zona’s mother is suspicious. Not long after she dies, Zona’s mother claims to have seen Zona’s ghost. Zona says her husband killed her. Her mother believes it and gets a lawyer to press charges. The corner finds some evidence to back up the charges. Will it be enough to convict Zona’s husband? Or will get away with it? If he even did anything?

Rating: 3.5 – interesting tale of a murder charge

Opinion: This was an interesting book. It wasn’t one of my favorites. While this story was interesting and had lots of interesting facts about West Virginia and some of the real people from there shortly after the Civil War, I didn’t love it. I understand why the author included some of the details, but there were too many irrelevant details and side stories. The author did do a good job switch back and forth between the lawyer and the mother. I thought the story would’ve focused more on the story leading up to the trial instead of side stories that provided details about the characters and how the court case was going to go. Instead the author focuses more on telling stories about some of the characters and the court proceedings. It’s a good story that has lots of details, too much for me though. I’d recommend this book for anyone who loves a book based on a real trial case and loves stories rich in detail.


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