Sunday 21 February 2021




The Switchback family has inhabited Crawford County since before the War Between the States, and it has eked out an existence, and even prospered, by virtue of hard work and honesty. Peter Switchback, Jr., is the current inhabitant of the family estate and caretaker of the farm and in many ways stands as a symbolic paragon of virtue. The Morgan family has been in Crawford County at least as long as the Switchback family and has made its way in the world by means of greed, pride, and dishonesty. Sheriff Cecil Morgan is the third in his line to hold his office, and like his ancestors, he is an avowed enemy of the Switchback family and all that they stand for.

The life of Crawford County plays out through the course of short tales told by several of its inhabitants, some tragic, some whimsical. The stories wind their way through the lives of Switchback and Morgan, framed by several ponderings of moral philosophy and existence. We are faced with Peter Switchback's obituary in the opening of the story, and the balance works its way to that eventual outcome.

A bit of a punt taken on this one, probably because the cover drew me in. I have a weird aversion/fascination/attraction to animal masks. The book relates different episodes or incidents from a small place in the US, somewhere in the South and probably a figment of the author's imagination. To be fair I haven't Googled it to check. The narrator definitely had a strong southern accent which added to the stories and did evoke the setting in my mind.

I had a hard job tracking all the characters in the book. Each anecdote or tale has a different narrator or storyteller and I didn't really get the vibe from the blurb of the two different families and the sort of good vs bad opposites.

Some of the incidents are trivial, some humorous, some sad. We encounter death, love, grief, friendship and a lot more in the course of the book.

One pearl of wisdom from the author remained ..... hating, affects the hater, more than the hated...... or something like that.

I enjoyed the book, despite the lack of connection I felt between the different characters. It wasn't a waste of my time and I was never bored. A book which kind of passed the time before finding my next great read.

3 from 5

Read - (listened to) February, 2021

Published - 2015

Page count  - 208 (5 hrs 12 mins)

Source - Audible purchase

Format - Audible


  1. It does sound like an interesting collection, Col. And I agree with you that the setting seems right for the stories. Those family saga sorts of stories can work very well, and I'm glad you liked this one, even if the stories weren't linked as you might have hoped.

    1. Margot, yes there was something about it as I listened which held my interest, without blowing my mind - if that makes sense. I like how some authors can make mundane events seem more than they actually are, or at least elevate them beyond boring!

  2. This sounds interesting and if it kept you entertained, that is worthwhile.

    1. Agreed. I liked the snapshots into some ordinary lives.