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Janet Beard


The Ballad of Laurel Springs
Gallery Books

The Atomic City Girls

William Morrow

"There is much to admire in The Ballad of Laurel Springs, but what I find most impressive is the novel’s seamlessness: people, place, history, and culture are beautifully woven together as the story moves towards its inevitable yet stunning final paragraph. Janet Beard is a very talented writer, and her novel is as elegiac and poignant as the music it celebrates."- Ron Rash, author of Serena and The Cove

"The Ballad of Laurel Springs sets the resonant violence of family secrets to the music of the mountains. With tenderness and grit, Janet Beard celebrates the harmonies of survival that run generations deep. Never has it felt more necessary—or more electric—for a story to be heard through song."- Amy Jo Burns, author of Cinderland and Shiner

"Janet Beard’s powerful novel unfolds with the intricate weaving of generations of unforgettable women’s vivid voices. An illuminating glimpse into the eerie murder ballads of history, The Ballad of Laurel Springs is compelling historical fiction at its best.”- Patti Callahan Henry, author of The Secret Book of Flora Lea and Surviving Savannah

"Lyrical, atmospheric and deeply moving, Janet Beard's new novel, The Ballad of Laurel Springs, explores the legacies—of passion and violence, music and faith—that haunt one family across the generations. A gifted storyteller, Beard brings her native East Tennessee to life with grace and empathy. This book is a stunner."- Jillian Medoff, author of When We Were Bright and Beautiful and This Could Hurt 

"The captivating writing will grab you from the start, and you'll spend your nights curled up with this page-turner in one hand and a cup of cider in the other."- Country Living Front Porch Book Club pick October 2021

"Haunting and lyrical, this story immerses you in Appalachian folklore in a visceral way."- Buzzfeed

"An intriguing multigenerational saga of a family steeped in the old-time songs and stories of southern Appalachia... tinged with regret and loss, informed by the timeless lyricism of the songs... This inspired story of Appalachian folklore will move readers."- Publishers Weekly

"Throws light on a dark heritage carried through history by many women, in myriad times and places. A compelling read."- Historical Novel Society Editors' Choice

"When Grace first hears the old Appalachian folk tune 'Pretty Polly' – the haunting story of a young woman murdered by her lover – she has no inkling that she has stumbled onto an a family secret, an echo of tragedy that connects her with generations of women who lived on these violent mountains before her, keeping the darkness at bay through the songs they’ve passed down."- Toronto Globe and Mail

"A distinctly Southern song that gets into the heads of readers and won’t let go."- Chapter 16

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