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Publisher's Summary

The Stantons and the Nortons were families in the truest, oldest sense: extended networks of kin stretching across the mountains, everyone within hiking distance. They’d come from the British Isles and settled in the Appalachians of North Carolina during the 1700s, bringing with them their dearly loved songs and their clannish ways, their ties to the land ultimately becoming as strong as their ties to one another.

So when Larkin Stanton is left parentless at birth in the 1840s, he is taken in by his cousin Arty Norton and, true to the family way, starts singing before he starts talking. As Larkin grows up, he hungrily learns every song he can, as well as the subtleties of ballad singing: how the songs are about the joys and the horrors of life, and how the best singers can produce a song that will summon tears. Going head-to-head with Arty’s brother, Hackley, the cousins’ competitions to produce the finest song soon spill over into the wooing of the finest girl in the community, Mary.

When Hackley wins Mary and then leaves to fight in the Civil War, Larkin, still too young to enlist, finds himself uncontrollably drawn to the woman who’s held his heart for years. What he does about that love defies all he has learned about family and loyalty - and reminds us that these mournful ballads didn’t come just from the imagination, but from imperfections of the heart.

©2004 Sheila Kay Adams (P)2005 Recorded Books, LLC

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  • turtles2
  • 09-01-2017

authentic and entertaining

As a local Southern Appalachian woman, I thoroughly enjoyed this read. The author portrays the era and culture respectfully and with authenticity. I read some criticism of the narrator but found her voice equally appropriate to the main character. She doesn't perform the music but instead sings the ballads as Arty would have done.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David Woods
  • 28-08-2011

lovely

I felt like my grandma was reading this book to me. The narration flowed and the singing was pleasing. A great story told.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Gloria J. Bowden
  • 28-09-2018

Kate Forbes makes this book WONDERFUL!

great story about a mountain family, told from a third generation mother....Kate Forbes narration makes this so real!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-06-2018

Excellent

I loved every bit of this complex and endearing story. I didn't put it down.

1 person found this helpful

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  • mary ervin
  • 24-11-2021

Love this book

I can say truthfully that i have read a lot of books and this is the best book I’ve ever read. The stories, characters, honesty, and feel for life make it touching and wonderful and real.

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  • Faith Adams
  • 25-07-2021

My Old True Love

This story touched my heart and soul. Very different from all the Civil War books I have listen to. I really appreciate that. A much read !! I highly recommend.

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  • Brandy
  • 24-04-2019

a wonderful book!

beautiful music! i love this book! (Except the ending is just too sad & unsatisfying)

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  • Amy
  • 16-03-2018

Well worth your time!!

I saw Sheila Kay Adams at the storytelling festivals several time. She is awesome and this book is just like hearing her tell stories. The songs are wonderful.

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  • Ms.E
  • 13-11-2017

Loved it!

This book had me from start to finish. I laughed some, and cried some too. The author told this tale in a way that makes you picture everything. I felt like I could see each character, and it made me love them all. The narrator was phenomenal! I don't know if she's from the mountains, but she sure does sound like it! If you're thinking about buying this book, wait no longer. You won't regret this purchase!

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  • Nicole
  • 24-06-2013

Wrong Book for Audio

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I only listen when I'm doing house work or yard work, so I never feel like I've wasted time listening.

Would you recommend My Old True Love to your friends? Why or why not?

Not as an audio book, but maybe as a regular one. There was a lot of not-great singing on the audio version.

How could the performance have been better?

I think maybe a man's voice would have worked better as two of the main characters were male and singers. Having a woman's voice try to replicate old songs sung by young men didn't really work. Also, I could hear doors shutting and coughing in the background in some places when I had my headphones on.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Yes.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-08-2016

Heartwarming

Particularly relevant to
Me after returning from a holiday in a location close the the book setting and having seen the author perform some of the songs at the Whitby Festival. I liked the way that the story was told in the first person and used the vernacular. Not knowing that much about the civil war but aware that there were many battles in Tennessee I was interested
In the perspective of mountain folk, especially the women, that was portrayed in this tale.

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  • Cass
  • 07-10-2019

An engrossing story from a master storyteller

This randomly popped up on a search for a different author, and I'm so glad I took a chance on it. Told in the vernacular with an appropriate accent, this story has a fully fleshed out world and solid characters. The writing is lyrical and captivating - I found myself staying up late to listen to more of it. It feels like you've sat down by an old woman's fireplace and she's telling you a story from her youth. The description makes it sound like a romance, but its so much deeper than that. There's no heaving bosoms here, just relationships and all they entail.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.