Caroline McAlister, college professor and life-long skeptic, is reeling from the loss of her father and her marriage. Her once promising career has come to a standstill. She didn’t realize her father held onto the family cabin until he bequeathed it to her, and with it, the ghost who haunted her childhood. When she discovers a century-old journal in the attic, she awakens the voice of Carson Quinn. The journal reveals Carson’s love for the same hollow that enthralled Caroline growing up. A little sleuthing uncovers rumors that the kind, curious boy in the journal grew up to murder his brother. Caroline plunges into the project of exonerating Carson, only to find herself in the throes of a personal past she’s spent her life trying to avoid. Hemlock Hollow is about how we forever haunt the places we love and how they haunt us in return.
Praise for Hemlock Hollow
“Past and present, love and loss intertwine in a magical mountain hollow. Holderfield’s love of place shines in his sensitive descriptions while his story-telling enthralls the reader.”
– Vicki Lane, author of And the Crows Took Their Eyes
“A love story, a history, a story of great depth and pain, Hemlock Hollow leads us down a mountain path toward deeper understandings of life and the haunting hold that past lives have on us, only seen clearly when we look at our ghosts face to face with love....With this novel, Holderfield joins the pantheon of those mountain writers of the South who paint both history and human nature with a fine brush - Ron Rash, Vicki Lane, Wiley Cash, and Dale Neal.”
Marjorie Hudson, author of Accidental Birds of the Carolinas and Indigo Field
“In Culley Holderfield’s Hemlock Hollow, Caroline McAlister ponders The Journal of Carson Quinn, translating what she reads, ever wanting to understand. Her haunts prompt us to remember our own heritages. A former college teacher, Caroline McAlister praises personal history, finally wearing it like a charm, researching and recalling characters she cannot let go.”
– Shelby Stephenson, poet laureate of North Carolina from 2015-2018, member of the Society of Distinguished Alumni, Department of English, University of Wisconsin-Madison. His recent books are More and Shelby’s Lady: The Hog Poems.
“In this sophisticated and nuanced narrative, past and present collide to shed light on a century-old murder. With its evocative sense of place and carefully-timed revelations, reading Hemlock Hollow feels akin to opening a treasure chest. Highly recommended for fans of historical mysteries.”
-Heather Bell Adams, author of Maranatha Road and The Good Luck Stone