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The Grave Tender

Narrated by: Homer V. Jones
Length: 6 hrs and 9 mins
5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

At 10 years old, Hadley Dixon's life changed forever. Since those few tragic weeks, she's tried to keep the past buried, but old bones have a way of rising up.

Grown now, Hadley can't hide any longer.

Haunted by a boy who never made it home, a woman who sings in moonlight and dances in flames, and the strange, scarred recluse who watches it all from the shadow of the pines, the time has come for Hadley to pay for her sins.

They say the truth will set you free, but sometimes it extracts a terrible price along the way. Is it a price Hadley's willing to pay?

A darkly moving mystery, with a southern gothic feel, The Grave Tender is the story of a family where no one is who they seem, the women at the heart of that family, and the extraordinary lengths they're willing to go to protect the ones they love.

©2015 Eliza Maxwell (P)2015 Eliza Maxwell

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 15-06-2016

a great listen!

This audiobook had me from the very first to the very end. Great writing and great narration. I found the narrator very soothing to listen to - a good storyteller's voice. The relationships between the characters feels real as does the small-town southern setting. I could almost smell the jambalaya!
There was an awful lot of tragedy and I think the reactions to them could have been meshed out a bit more but then it might teeter on macabre. I did appreciate that it did not dwell on the different tragedies nor did it give gory details. I really enjoyed this book!
I was gifted this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Katherine
  • 18-12-2017

Strange Narration and Audio Problems

Is there anything you would change about this book?

It is such a sad book, although after having listened to a few books from this author, I suppose I should come to expect that. No one really makes it out unscathed.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Although I knew the inevitable conclusion was approaching, I was drawn to keep listening regardless. It was well-plotted with intriguing characters whom I cared about.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Homer V. Jones?

Yes. The narrator was a strange choice, given that the book is told from the point of view of a young girl, and later the same girl as she grows into a woman. The older male narrators voice seemed really incongruent with the "voice" of the book.

Do you think The Grave Tender needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No, I think the book ended on a satisfactory note. It ended about as I'd expected, but I still found it worthwhile to listen to the end.

Any additional comments?

The book seemed plagued with audio problems, apart from the narrator. On some sections, it seemed like they edited the tempo of his narration so the sentences were almost on top of one another without a break between, even when it wasn't a tense part of the book. Other times, a sentence or two would sound like he was far away from the microphone, then suddenly his voice would jump back in to normal range. Also, the audio quality often seemed different, like parts had been re-recorded and cut into the original. All of these incidents really took me out of the story, unfortunately. It had me focusing more on the narration that the plot at times, which was unfortunate.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Elizabeth
  • 01-12-2017

VERY DEPRESSING

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I really didn't enjoy the story at all so not really anything

What was most disappointing about Eliza Maxwell’s story?

I did not feel there was any actual point to the story and it was a very difficult listen because of the nature of the dark subjects. I am not put off by books with heavy material, but I feel like there does need to be some kind of "point" to all of it.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Homer V. Jones?

I would have preferred a female, but I just didn't like this narrator at all. I felt that the narrator often emphasized words or sentences in a strange way, and I felt that he "overacted" a lot of the dialogue. I found that I would just barely catch some of the reading because he would also read in run-on sentences. Just NOT a good narrator for me all around!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Gothic_Potato
  • 09-09-2017

Not your usual little town book. Excellent read.

You think you know what's going on, but once you figure it out, it is terrifying. Questions that the characters have to make decisions about make you ask yourself what you would do. Very good

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Deedra
  • 15-08-2017

The Grave Tender

I absolutely LOVED this book!Hadleys mom is 'crazy'.When Hadley finds out why her life has changed for the worst.Her odd uncle lives in a shack in the woods.He gets blamed for a lot.Things are not what they seem in this family.It is fascinating.Homer V Jones is a terrific narrator.I was provided this book by the author, narrator or publisher for review.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • zoe1157
  • 16-07-2019

Beautiful and Gut Wrenching

In lyrical and descriptive prose Eliza Maxwell leads you down a dark path where heroes are villains and villains heroes and the Texas air hangs heavy and sweet as molasses. If you are looking for an uplifting story of overcoming adversity or a charming story of love and friendship do not read this book. Eliza Maxwell takes Southern Gothic and sends it on greased rails to hell.

I won't summarize the story. I couldn't do it justice. But the story of Hadley Dixon and her family will burn its way into your soul and leave a grief that will make you feel like your own family somehow imploded between the pages

Keep a Bible close at hand. You will need grace and prayer when you are finished.

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  • Buzy_reading
  • 08-07-2019

Telling of family secrets

In the small backwoods forest of Cordelia, Hadley lived with her grandmother and parents. Her mother Winnie was a sick woman who stayed inside the house. Her father was a general contractor who was away long hours leaving Hadley to be looked after by her grandmother.
Hadley lived near a river where her friends played and fished. Her uncle Eli lived near the river, but they were frightened of him, for his face was marred with scars.

Narrator :
Homer V. Jones was the solo male performer of this audiobook. I didn’t care for his performance. I would’ve preferred a female narrator. The male voice didn’t seem fitting given this was Hadley’s story.
The sound quality was weak with some sound quality issues. Homer was not the voice I envisioned for this story.

Overall:
This was a character driven story with a variety of mini plots driving the story. Too much time was spent developing these characters and their relationships. I felt Eliza beat around the bush taking her time exposing the secrets of this family.

Eli’s character reminded me of Forrest Gump with the way he spoke.

Essentially this was a telling of secrets that were hidden in the past yet carried forward into the present. There was no way to unlock these secrets without the help of Eliza. All secrets were revealed in their respectable time. The story was slow and rather flat. The secrets were shocking considering nothing rendered a clue as to those behavioral actions. For that I found the secrets anticlimactic in their approach. I tucked it in as interesting information.
This could’ve had the potential to be a really good story if the location and type of characters chosen were different. Not to mention if the language of these characters had been different it would’ve had a different impact. Instead it felt bittersweet and humbling given the type of characters and how they viewed the world.

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  • Diana
  • 31-03-2019

Wonderful Book

The story was amazing. The writing was rich and vivid. This is along the lines of To Kill a Mockingbird.

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  • Angie
  • 06-11-2018

Boring

I would like a refund. I can’t get into this book. It put me to sleep.

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  • Crystal K
  • 03-07-2018

You'll need a helmet for this bumpy ride

I had no idea the twists and turns I was about to embark upon. The characters were so real. This book gave me a hangover when it was over. I literally cried in a few spots and laughed in others. It was dark and engaging. It took me a few chapters to adjust to the narrator's voice and speaking style, but he was marvelous at capturing the emotion this book was throwing out. Beware, you won't be able to forget this one.

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  • Tez
  • 03-09-2017

ok

i normally read a book from start finish however i found the pace a bit slow and cast difficult to remember