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Whistling Past the Graveyard Book Cover
2013 Goodreads Choice NomineeTarget Book Club Pick
"Like Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird and Kathryn Stockett's The Help, Whistling Past the Graveyard is destined to become a classic."
Karen White - New York Times Bestselling Author

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“I enjoyed this book something mighty fierce. And I feel as though I should send this novel to all my Massachusetts’ friends and family as a Christmas present…”

Robert Downs,
Amazon Reader

“I enjoyed this book tremendously! The story and the writing grabbed me from the beginning and kept my interest to the end.”

Book Reporter
Claire, Focus Group Reader

“Absolutely 5 stars. Highly recommend.”

Sharon - Goodreads

My Grandmother said she prays for me every day. Which was funny, because I'd only ever heard Mamie pray, "Dear Lord, give me strength." That sure sounded like a prayer for herself...

Starla Claudelle

No. No. I was nothin'. And I'd been bad. But I paid. Paid and paid before Wallace save me.


Our upstairs is hot as the hinges of Hades... I kinda hoped when Mamie got home late this afternoon, she'd find me passed out from heatstroke.

Starla Claudelle

The colored don't choose to live here. It's where they're allowed to live.

Miss Cyrena

I was horrible thirsty, but I didn't take it; Mamie had made it clear: no matter even if we're about to expire from thirstiness, we don't drink after negras.

Starla Claudelle

Remeber when we was bakin', and what I say about overworked crust? You and me, we done pushed our luck 'bout as far as a body dare. We overworked crust.

Starla Claudelle, the main character for Whistling Past the Graveyard, had been whispering in my ear for months before I finally allowed her to tell her story. I was working on another novel at the time, and I leave no novel unfinished—until now. Starla was so stubborn and intent on doing what she thought was right that I finally relented, closed the file of my half-finished novel (a bit of a relief actually, as it was giving me fits—humm, I wonder if that was Starla’s doing too?) and started working on Whistling Past the Graveyard.
So began an adventure for both novelist and character. As a novelist, I was embarking on a project unlike any I’d previously written. There was no guarantee any publisher would want to publish it. And yet, it was clear to me from the beginning, Starla was going to tell her story in her own way. It turned out that to be a very good thing that I stopped being my own stubborn self and let Starla have her way.

Working Title

Whistling Past the Graveyard

Book Snack?

Puffed corn snacks (Mike-Sells Puff Corn Delites, Natural White Chedder Cheetos, etc.) Many, many bags. I even rated them on my blog.

Publisher: Gallery Books
Category: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Release Date:
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook
Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-1476707723
Copyright © 2013 Susan Crandall