Fiction. Just as his indie-rock band was poised to make it big, Ben Dirjery traded it all in for fatherhood and the stability of a job at Bolster Hill Cemetery. Now closing in on fifty, the former guitarist finds himself divorced and at loose ends, and still haunted by the tragic death of his former band's lead singer, who is buried, literally, under Ben's feet.Then Ben's daughter begins questioning a past he has tried to bury. If he can face her questions, he might finally put to rest his guilt over his bandmate's death, and bring music back into his life.
"Startlingly incongruous parts—graveyards, guitars, and mushrooms—come together in satisfying and unexpected ways. Sharp writing and an unconventional plot make for a darkly enjoyable read."—Kirkus Reviews
"IN THIS GROUND brings both music and joy to an otherwise mournful landscape. Castrodale challenges us to come to terms with what is important in our lives by confronting the inevitability of death, and she does so with such frankness and grace that we are compelled to embrace, rather than fear, the unknown."—Wendy J. Fox
"Castrodale makes a cemetery not only come to life but also become a central character. Deep in the soil of this unlikely ground, [she]has buried great heart. She channels Richard Russo in her ability to command a large cast of characters about whom we care greatly."—Jen Michalski
"That a graveyard can be a stage for so much vigorous, multilayered life is one of the many surprises in Beth Castrodale's warm and wonderful novel. The paths of vividly drawn characters intersect to create a vibrant canvas of uncommon richness and breadth. With the deftness of a magician and uncanny insight, Castrodale weaves together the present moment with its contending dramas and the past with its tragedies, in this moving and deeply satisfying novel that illuminates how hearts break and how they mend."—Lynn Sloan
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Beth Castrodale started out as a newspaper reporter and editor, then transitioned to book publishing, serving for many years as an editor for an academic press. She has completed three novels: MARION HATLEY (Garland Press), a finalist for a 2014 Nilsen Prize for a First Novel from Southeast Missouri State University Press; Gold River; and IN THIS GROUND, an excerpt of which was a shortlist finalist for a 2014 William Faulkner — William Wisdom Creative Writing Award. Beth recommends literary fiction on her website SmallPressPicks.com, and she has published stories in Printer's Devil Review, The Writing Disorder, Marathon Literary Review, and Mulberry Fork Review. She lives in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.Author City: JAMAICA PLAIN, MA USA