The Ballad of Falling Rock
Truth told, folks still ask if Saul Crabtree sold his soul for the perfect hymn. If he sold it to angels or devils. A Bristol newspaper once asked: “are his love songs closer to heaven than dying?” Others wonder how he wrote a song so sad, everyone who heard it died of a broken heart.

Yet, more than anything else folks ponder in the town of Trinity, one question lingers: why did this angel-toned preacher’s son, just as his fame seemed ready to light the Appalachian nightsky forever, disappear completely?

In 1938, the decisions Saul makes will alter his family’s story for generations. He and his eerily talented descendants ignite religious fear throughout Red Pine County. They navigate chapels, decaying sanatoriums, high school hallways, and a lingering myth from their Cherokee heritage that follows them wherever they go. 

In the end, however, it’s Saul’s precocious grandson, Eli, who must find answers to these heartbreaking questions, who must enter this world rich in music and voices, where people die to hear the unspoken, and salvation is only found in the not-yet sung.

The Ballad of Falling Rock by Jordan Dotson
Jordan Dotson
ISBN Numbers:
Hardcover:  978-1-64397-364-7
Softcover:   978-1-64397-365-4
Ebook:         978-1-64397-366-1
LCCN: 2023930895

Page Count: 368
Release Date: 9/24/2024
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“A mesmerizing exploration of music, family and fate. From the opening lines...Jordan creates a world that is singular — yet alive with voices — the words, desires and rhythms of others, a polyphony of peers, family, society and self.
—Madeleine Thien, Booker Prize shortlisted author of Do Not Say We Have Nothing
“From the first page, Jordan Dotson's novel FALLING ROCK, crackles with energy and joy. Set in Virginia's Appalachia, Saul and Eli, separated by secrets but bound by blood and their musical talent, are complicated and compelling characters who must navigate a world both mysterious and magical, a world I didn't want to leave.
—Sybil Baker, IPPY Silver Medal-winning author of While You Were Gone
“Dotson does a wonderful job giving the prose and the dialogue a very time-appropriate feel and sound. He takes an old-time melodic and very poetic approach here that is very fitting.
—NetGalley Reviewer
“This was the most beautiful story ever written about the saddest song ever sung. I was taken on a journey across generations where love, family and music; however complicated, overpowered all else. I am absolutely blown away…
—NetGalley Reviewer