The hum and the shiver by

A screech owl stood on the porch rail, its tiny talons scratching against the wood.
Alex Bledsoe - The hum and the shiver - c.2011 - pg. 11

Advance uncorrected proof edition, won on Alex Bledsoe’s website.

Bronwyn Hyatt is coming home. A war hero. Or so some people say, others say she hasn’t changed a speck from the trash Tufa slut she was before she left, but to her family all that is important is that she is home. Back among the Tufa. And who are the Tufa? Well that no on seems quite sure of. They’ve been in the mountains of east Tennessee since before anyone can remember. Closely knit, and prizing musical ability, they live apart from other people. And Bronwyn is a true, pure-blooded Tufa, a First Daughter. But a haint is visiting, and there are ominus signs everywhere her people look.

hum and the shiverFirst off I really enjoyed parts of this book. It is well told and it certainly kept my interest. My usual 5 minutes read before heading to work this morning was a little longer than planned because I got so engrossed in the story. But that doesn’t mean it was all positive. I had a slight issue with the idea of “pure-blood” and with the separate roles for men and women within Tufa society. Actually thats a bad way of putting it, but saying that such and such was a woman’s song, whereas a different one was a man’s didn’t sit well with me. However at the same time it was clearly a cultural thing, as was the importance of blood-lines. And even that part of it was being questioned by characters in the book. So points for that :)

I liked Bronwyn as a character, I’m not sure I got her all the time, but that’s okay. I got enough of her to not get too annoyed at her mistakes. The rest of the family is less well drawn than she is, but there are other characters there. The pastor in particular I thought was a good character. All too often in fiction being religious is short-hand for being crazy. That isn’t the case here, which is nice :)

This is a very different book from the previous ones I’d read by Bledsoe, but is shared some aspects. Easy to read, engaging, and with plenty of humour.

It also has the feel of a book in a series, well a ‘verse more likely I think. And I’d be interested in reading more if that were the case.

Other reviews: None yet, let me know if you’ve read & reviewed it and I’ll link here.

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