In This Ground by Beth Castrodale, Book Review & Giveaway

We had the pleasure of reading Beth Castrodale’s In This Ground and can now offer an ebook copy for worldwide giveaway.

In This Ground - Beth CastrodaleIn This Ground Synopsis:

Just as his indie-rock band was poised to make it big, Ben Dirjery traded it all in for fatherhood and the stability of a job at Bolster Hill Cemetery. Now closing in on fifty, the former guitarist finds himself divorced and at loose ends, and still haunted by the tragic death of his former band’s lead singer, who is buried, literally, under Ben’s feet.

These aren’t Ben’s only troubles. Protesters are rallying at the cemetery’s gates over a court-ordered exhumation of a beloved nineteenth-century hobo. Ben’s boss is blocking his push for green burials, which he hopes to offer in time for a dear, dying friend. And a new gravedigger is pressuring Ben to bring his guitar out of the closet to accompany him at an open-mike performance.

Meanwhile, Ben’s daughter, an aspiring musician, discovers his band’s music and begins questioning a past he has tried to bury. If he can face her questions, he might finally put to rest his guilt over his band mate’s death, and bring music back into his life.

(Garland Press, 2018)

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Sometimes you just want a ‘quieter’ read, one of those narratives that whispers to you while slowly wrapping you in its web. In This Ground is just that book.

At first, the puzzle pieces starkly presented seemed disjointed. However, slowly but surely the differing character viewpoints coalesce into a much more meaningful and heartwarming landscape.

Metaphorically, that landscape is one filled with achingly real, imperfect people. Despite their differences, and at times, discord they are all principally good intentioned. Each in their own way is just trying to make the best of what life throws at them. But the literal landscape in which these characters’ lives intersect, the local cemetery is one rife for dark humour. It also inspires emotional unbundling, connection and meaningful reflection.

I really admired Castrodale’s deft and subtle touch in character development. In This Ground is a lesson in understated impact and authenticity; that genuine happiness can be found in the simpler things in life. It is sweet but never sacharine as it celebrates old-fashioned goodwill and people power in a modern context.

Beth Castrodale’s In This Ground is a charmingly offbeat and engaging novel.

BOOK RATING: The Story 4.5 / 5 ; The Writing 4 / 5  —  Overall 4.25

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Genre: Literature, Drama, Romance

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About the Author, Beth Castrodale

Beth Castrodale has worked as a newspaper reporter and book editor. An excerpt from In This Ground was a shortlisted finalist for a William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Award. Her novel Marion Hatley (Garland Press, 2017) was a finalist for a Nilsen Prize for a First Novel from Southeast Missouri State University Press. Beth has published stories in such journals as Printer’s Devil Review, The Writing Disorder, and Mulberry Fork Review. To learn more about Beth’s work and sign up for her email newsletter, visit, or connect with her on Facebook or on Twitter.

* Receiving a copy from the publisher for review purposes did not impact the expression of my honest opinions.

Beth Castrodale - In This Ground Giveaway

Worldwide eBook Giveaway

Thanks to Garland Press we have an ebook copy of In This Ground to giveaway. The winner may select either a PDF, ePUB, or Mobi version of the ebook.

SORRY, ENTRIES CLOSED – See winner announcement.