Dutton, Jun 2001, 24.95, 368pp.
In 1751 Islay off the Scottish coast, Malcolm McCourry is abducted and turned into a slave on board a ship heading to the New World. On the trek, he hears and learns a haunting ballad. In America, Malcolm makes the most of his fate and soon becomes a lawyer and starts a family. He hands down the ballad to his sons.
Over a couple of centuries later, country singer Lark McCourry flies from her California home to see her ailing father. When her plane crashes in the Carolina Mountains, she calls police dispatcher Ben Hawkins. However, she wastes her cell phone battery by asking for his help in finding the family song she vaguely remembers from her youth rather than for her rescue. He turns to Nora, who can help with the song, but not with finding Lark.
THE SONGCATCHER is a tremendously rich epic that sweeps across two and a half centuries. The story line is loaded with depth as readers get a deep glimpse into strong characters that cross the American generational spectrum since the birth of the nation in a combined historical and contemporary plot. Sharyn McCrumb's latest novel turns into a delightful gourmet meal for anyone who wants a deep ballad filled with humor and poignancy as reading material.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner