Read marrying stone by Pamela Morsi Online


Alternate cover for ASIN B0053YBFYSAny successful scholar will make personal sacrifices to enhance his research. But most are never expected to include a suspect marriage to a barefoot hill girl. Musicologist, J. Monroe Farley hopes to prove that the wilds of the Ozark Mountains preserved the language and music of an era gone by. Hill Girl, Meggie Best only hopes for a hanAlternate cover for ASIN B0053YBFYSAny successful scholar will make personal sacrifices to enhance his research. But most are never expected to include a suspect marriage to a barefoot hill girl. Musicologist, J. Monroe Farley hopes to prove that the wilds of the Ozark Mountains preserved the language and music of an era gone by. Hill Girl, Meggie Best only hopes for a handsome prince to make her dreams come true. Neither expects to have life suddenly upended by a jar of bad piccalilli and a skunk....

Title : marrying stone
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Rating :
ISBN : 24424224
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 427 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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marrying stone Reviews

  • Jill
    2019-04-19 17:19

    J. Monroe (Roe) Farley, an academic has come to the small town of Marrying Stone in the Ozark Mountains to study the traditional music of the region. Born and bred in Marrying Stone, Meggie longs for the day when her prince will appear and sweep her off her feet. Along with her brother, Jess and her father, Onery, Meggie lives in a small cabin on the mountain, deciding straight away with the appearance of Roe her wish has come true.Set in the Ozarks, at the turn of the 20th century this simple, sweet story is a favourite of mine. Ms Morsi has written a novel that is full of charm, detailing the lives of the people of the Appalachians with real affection and delivering a gentle, humourous romance at the same time.Though the romance between Roe & Meggie is simply lovely, it is almost overshadowed by the sweet relationship between Roe and Jess, Meggie's brother. Though Jess is a bit slow mentally, he is the loveliest of people. Jess gets his own story in Simple Jess one of the most different, wonderful and sweetest romances ever.There is such a honesty to Pamela Morsi's stories and a goodness to her characters. She sweeps the reader back to a simpler, better time, despite the harsher conditions and the lack of modern conveniences. Having recently read The Lovesick Cure which is Pamela Morsi's 2012 title, I realised how much I've missed these types of romances. The Lovesick Cure is set in contemporary times, referencing many of the characters you'll find in Marrying Stone and its sequel Simple Jess.Ms Morsi's Americana titles are simply extra-ordinary stories. For a different setting in a simpler time, and gentler type of romance, read Marrying Stone.Steam: 2.5

  • sraxe
    2019-03-31 22:44

    Like some of the other reviews, I didn't go into this novel to read about Meggie and Roe, I went into it for Jesse. I wanted to read the second book but some readers suggested reading the first as well. I'm glad I did, not because of the romance, but because of the friendship that blossomed between Roe and Jesse."Hey, Meggie!" Jesse called out. "Come and meet Roe. He's my frien'."Unable to move, Meggie merely stared as the two young men walked toward her."He's lost his mule," Jesse continued. "I ne'er had a frien' afore, Meggie. Can we keep him?"Jesse was adorable and I loved whenever he showed up on the page.Although the romance wasn't bad, I didn't feel particularly attached to it either. There are a couple of times Roe mentions being with other women or desiring other women, so I did get annoyed with the constant mentions of that. It definitely didn't help picturing a romance between Meggie and Roe when he mentions the few other women he's been with. There's even a part where Jesse, who's a virgin, asks Roe to describe sex to him. Although it's a great moment in a friendship/bonding moment between the two, I didn't like it all that much when thinking about the romance. He hasn't been with Meggie at this point, so his experiences that he's describing are with other women. (Though, tbh, it would be super creepy if he were to describe his sexual experience with Meggie to Meggie's brother.)(And on the mention of creepy...I don't know how old Meggie is, but I got really icked out at Roe mentioning her "young body." I don't think she's that much younger than him, but I was really not feeling it when he said or thought that.)I also got annoyed at how Roe constantly described the Ozarks as being "primitive" and "backwoods." He came off classist to me. He got over it, sure, but I didn't like how he constantly looked down on the people of Marrying Stone simply because they'd had a different and less privileged experience than him. It's not that I expected him to be enlightened right off the bat, but throughout the book he's raised up as being smarter than the rest of these Ozarkers. Except that might not be true? The only reason he's viewed as being "smarter" is thanks to the polish he's gained because he's had the privilege of wealth and education.I was hoping this would come bite him in the ass or something, but it never does. He's always writing in his journal about the primitive, backwoods people of Ozark. I was hoping someone would find his journal and give him shit for it.The romance itself is pretty instalovey (at least on Meggie's end) and it's a lot of push-pull between the two. It was too much back and forth for me between them. First Roe rejects her, with regular mentions of how he's going to leave the mountain eventually and go back to his life, and then Meggie rejects him more than once. It's not that I wanted her to capitulate as soon as he came around, but she just came off as more stubborn rather than resolute. It was like she was just rejecting him because that's what her mother had done with Onery rather than because she really wanted to.There was also some casual racism and mentions of Native Americans. There's one part about how "[their] folks run the Injuns out." First, they're obviously using a slur for Native Americans. And then second, I just hate reading casual references about how these white people stole the lands of the Native Americans. Can we just not get mentions of them, please? Unless some character's going to call them out on their shit, just don't mention it."The Osage were real superstitious Indians, I guess. They thought the rock had spiritual powers to change the world and they would come here to ask for changes." She smiled warmly at him. "I guess us civilized folks are about as superstitious as the Indians," she admitted with a laugh.And then this part. So the "Indians" are the uncivilized folks? That's bad enough, but it's worse when you consider that it's Meggie saying this, not Roe. The author already has Meggie and the Ozarks being viewed as "backwoods" and "primitive" what the hell are the "Indians" considered in comparison to them, then? Meggie calls her people the civilized folks in comparison to them.During both of these mentions, there's no wayward thought on the racism from Roe. He's supposed to be the educated, smart one, right? Enlightened and all? This book was published in the 90s, so it's not like the author can blame it being a product of the times and use that as an excuse. Besides, this book is taking place at the turn of the century, not in the thick of Native American conflicts.Anyway, I didn't care much for the romance. If anything, if you're on the fence, I'd say to read it for the friendship between the guys and for Jesse.

  • Robin
    2019-04-07 21:19

    Monroe "Roe" Farley has traveled to the Ozarks with his ediphone to record local folk songs that he believes originated in Scotland and England. He meets Jesse Best, a simpleminded man who claims Roe as his friend. He also meets Jesse's sister, Meggie, a woman who has always dreamed that her prince would come and sweep her away. When Meggie sees Roe, she believes her prince is finally here. But when she nearly poisons him with her cooking, Roe decides to keep his distance.This is a thoroughly entertaining book with unique characters. Meggie and Jesse live with their father on his rundown farm. Onery Best is a simple farmer with very little education. When Roe offers to pay him for room and board, Onery makes a deal with him to help out on the farm. Roe may be Harvard educated, but he has a lot to learn about the people in Marrying Stone, Arkansas. My rating: 4 Stars.

  • Dorine
    2019-04-02 20:33

    MARRYING STONE by Pamela Morsi made me laugh and cry due to the heartfelt emotion at the end. A captivating historical rendering of the Ozark people and their traditions, this short novel will win you over with characters who snag your heart.Why was it in Dorine’s TBR? I’ve had this book since April of 2013. It landed in my Nook TBR along with SIMPLE JESS and THE LOVESICK CURE. After researching this a bit further, I realized that Willaful had a hand in this buying spree, by helping me decide in a discussion on Jill’s review of THE LOVESICK CURE at Goodreads. Since this is a short three-book series, it seemed doable within my limited reading time. Apparently, I’m a little slow because I’m finally getting to them four years later!This book suits the series catch-up theme of Wendy’s TBR Challenge, but I’m starting a new series instead of catching up on a familiar one. I generally stay away from series books just because I can’t read them as fast as most authors write them. I prefer to mix up my reading with various authors, mostly new-to-me, due to limited time and the need for an eclectic experience.In the NOOK digital version, this book is listed as 212 pages, which appealed to me for this challenge. I can’t seem to read anything longer during the summer and barely finished this one in time. The paperback versions are listed as 326 to 427 pages, so I’m not sure what’s right. It felt like a short novel to me, so I highly doubt if it was ever 427 pages unless it was large print or words were added significantly.The premise of a scholar going to a primitive section of the Ozarks to collect songs for their historical value appealed to me. I’m sure I’ve seen a movie about this, and the first part of the book seemed vaguely familiar. I never figured out the book or movie that may have triggered my memory, so maybe someone else can help me remember.In the beginning, the story moved slower and maybe it’s because I kept thinking I’ve heard this story before. Even so, about one third into it the characters captured my attention. Meggie is a simple gal with a huge heart, who has fairytale dreams of a prince coming to marry her. Roe is a scholar who thinks highly of his knowledge and standing at Cambridge, but discovers quite quickly that book knowledge isn’t always as wise as tradition or experience.I got frustrated with Meggie’s resistance to Roe’s charms, but by the end of the book, I understood her completely. Every character is individually rendered in such a way that I grew to love them all, but Simple Jess stole the show. I can’t wait to read the rest of his story in SIMPLE JESS.It’s rare that I buy a whole series before reading any of them in it, but I’m so glad I have all three of MARRYING STONE so there’s no reason to put off completing the series. Some of the simple antidotes spoken by the characters about life and love are so touching. I can’t wait to discover what else will be revealed through their no-nonsense approach to life. I also enjoyed the historical detail that added some laughter. It was a simpler time with many challenges but there wasn’t a lack of joy.This book took a while to grab my emotion, but when it did I was all in. I believed every word, even the lies, and my heart wailed for the injustice of it all. The end was perfect, including the laugh-out-loud moments that made me love this book even more. MARRYING STONE is definitely a keeper and a treasure from the romance books written in the 1990s. Thanks to my Goodreads friends for the recommendation!Review by Dorine, courtesy of The Zest Quest. Digital copy purchased. Follow the TBR challenge discussion at my site.

  • Jane Stewart
    2019-04-02 17:24

    2 ½ stars. Not a stand out romance but ok. The best part is the friendship between two men, one of whom is mentally slow.STORY BRIEF:Harvard educated Roe is researching folk music. He travels to a remote community in the Arkansas Ozark Mountains with a machine to record the locals singing and playing music. He stays with Meggie, Jesse, and their father. Their food is mostly from hunting, fishing, and whatever they grow on their small farm. Meggie weaves cloth to make their clothes and cooks food over a fire. Jesse suffered some brain damage at birth. He’s mentally slow but has a wonderful attitude and a great heart. Jesse says he’s never had a friend before and is excited that Roe is his new friend. Meggie and Roe are attracted to each other, but they have issues, including his plans to leave at the end of the summer.REVIEWER’S OPINION:I picked the wrong week to read this book because I was distracted by fun and exciting events while I was traveling. So my mind wandered too much. But trying to be fair, here’s what I see. The story could be divided into three sections - about equal time each. 1. Jesse and Roe being friends and doing things together. 2. Conflicts between Roe and Meggie, trying to stay apart from each other. 3. Roe working on the farm, gathering music, and interacting with the locals. It’s not a draw for romance. The Meggie romance was ok, but it didn’t stand out. The parts about the community, the way of life, and culture was interesting and nicely done. The Jesse friendship was my favorite part. Probably because Jesse is such a neat character. And I loved his story in the sequel “Simple Jess.” But overall I’d say read Simple Jess first. Then if you’d like more back story on him read this.There were three sex scenes. Instead of passion, desire, or something special, they felt generic - like the author was required to put them in.DATA:Story length: 326 pages. Swearing language: mild. Sexual language: none to mild. Number of sex scenes: 3. Total number of sex scene pages: 8. Setting: 1902 - 1907 mostly Arkansas with a little Boston, Massachusetts. Copyright: 1994. Genre: rural american historical romance.

  • PT
    2019-03-21 17:29

    OK, so I read this one a little out of order. It really is a nice prequel to Simple Jess. Meggie and Roe really are a good couple together, even if neither one of them sees it. Her stubborn resistance to marrying without love was a little trying to the patience, but Roe was definitely persistent. Also, his viewpoint of his new home and family is quite that of a modern person's take on this small, isolated community. I frequently found myself in agreement with his assessment of the Ozarks. Also, I love Roe's relationship with Jess. It was even better to me than his realtionship with Meggie because he and Jess spent the majority of the novel together and "male bonding." Almost like a historical bromance. Definitely, a bromance.

  • Mariana
    2019-03-30 16:24

    This book is different than any other I have read. It starts off a little slow and the events are odd. I enjoy all the characters, but they are quirky. I would rate the beginning as 3 stars. However, the last 15% is 5 stars great; so I balanced with a 4 star rating.I will definitely read the second book. Simple Jess was one of my favorite characters throughout the story. After the conclusion, there is no way I would miss reading it.

  • Ðawn
    2019-04-03 00:35

    I really loved this. Maybe it's because I am a Yankee who has had the life experience of knowing what mountain people are like (to a smaller degree).Short intro summary:It's 1902 and educated Roe Farley has come to the Ozarks from Cambridge Mass. to research music and lyrcis of the mountain people, believing they are of ancient Scottish-Irish -Celtic origin.On his way up the mountain, Roe loses his mule and most of his belongings, now lost, luckily he runs into Jesse Best who leads him to his cabin and is introduced to the rest of Best family. One being Meggie Best, a barefooted mountain lady who is a dreamer and a terrible cook.As you can guess the love story lies with Roe and Meggie. 2 people from 2 different worlds, 2 different cultures. To say anything more will ruin the story for the reader.I will say this, I laughed, I cried, I loved. The characters are wonderful, complex three dimesional. There was apparently a lot of research done by the author, and although some readers may view the characters as being unrealistic, I would disagree totally. Remember it's 1902 in the Ozarks.I truly loved this book, and will read it again and again. Although this can be a standalone, I would recommend reading this series in order to get the full flavor.

  • Jane
    2019-03-22 17:44

    I actually wasn't all that intrigued in this novel, I was actually interested in the second novel in the series but I read it somewhere (I *think* it was Jill ...) that it is highly recommended that I read the first one first. Although they're supposedly to be standalones in a series, I am glad that I listened to that recommendation because I already learned sooooo much about the next book's hero Jess that I actually cannot wait till I get to know this simple, yet lovable guy more. :)More of my thoughts can be found HERE.

  • Saly
    2019-03-27 23:31

    I read this because this was highly rated by all my friends on GR, I found the book sweet even though the romance was not front and centre.

  • Ƥʋиʏα [Punya Reviews...]
    2019-04-13 23:28

    My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...Reading Marrying Stone, for me, was like going through a very different kind of a lifestyle and life stories. I generally love small-town romances, the settings and the characters; Pamela Morsi didn’t disappoint me in either. Prior to reading this book I had no idea about Ozark Mountains and the Ozarks so in that regard, this book was very informative. PM’s writing is very open and honest, the narratives of Ozark Mountains and the lifestyle of the people there was pretty remarkable. Never once I felt that I’m run down because she did a great job of making the mundane things of their life in early 20th century a fun read.Monroe ‘Roe’ Farley comes to Ozark Mountains with a fellowship, where he’d research on the old Celtic music and its changes in the centuries of Ozark’s tradition. Roe is a city born and bred but lonely. His parents were never close to him and died when he was young. His life was spend mostly at schools. We don’t get much narration on his life in the city, but from his musings about that. In fact, city life isn’t involved unless by mention. The whole story takes place in the mountains. There are a few journal entries by Roe, which gives us a good idea about his mindset. He’s a brilliant student no doubt and has every ambition of fulfilling his fellowship and build a great carrier. So, 1st day here and he loses his mule and most of his belongings. Poor guy! While chasing for it, he comes across a giant of a man, blonde and handsome, smiling down at him. He introduces himself as Jesse Best and that he lives nearby. After a few word exchanges, Roe understands that Jesse is somewhere near his own age but probably younger and definitely slow witted. But he’s so honest in everything, almost childlike. Roe likes him on-spot when Jesse makes him his only frien’. Jesse takes Roe to his house where he meets Jesse’s younger sister Meggie. There is also Jesse’s elderly father, Henry or Onery, as he likes to be known as. Roe still didn’t know the kind of weird situation he’s going to be in when Jesse invites him to stay for supper.Meggie is a dreamer. It’s said that her head is always in the clouds, which is why her bad cooking is a legend in this part of the mountains. Meggie has some education, so she can read and write and has been the winner of the spelling bee. Jesse thinks Meggie is the smartest girl, certainly smarter than him. You can’t help but love Jesse and how honest he’s about his short comings. No whining, no berating himself or the others but taking the fact inside and work harder. It’s not that he doesn’t understand but just slow to when sorting out his thoughts. Even then, hidden meanings of words aren’t his forte. He just takes is all straightforwardly. And Jesse loves his family without any conditions at all. He works hard, being the strongest member of the family. His father is crippled with a bad leg and aged. As I read on about the hard mountain life, I saw the kind of work they do all day... it’s kind of unimaginable for us but I loved reading about it all. Anyway, Meggie can read and so she’s read that only fairytale book her mother had and it gave her some distorted idea about men. She now wants her own prince charming and no man in this part of the mountain will do, which is why she’s still unmarried. So when she spots Roe and his handsome face and graceful figure with the charming, gentlemanly behavior, it wasn’t hard for Meggie to decide that he is the one, the prince she’s been waiting for. Yah I know but I found the honestly and comparable innocence of these mountain people really refreshing and Meggie is an innocent in every sense of the word. The incidents that follow later that day, sadly, took off the dreamy cloud out of her eyes. She kinda throws herself on Roe (but I didn’t see it that way, it was rather she was open in showing her affection and appreciation) and kisses him. Roe, hearing her words on ‘prince charming, marriage and love’ freaks out. For a city bred man like him, it was the scariest thought. Roe didn’t want to be tied down so soon and certainly not to this mountain girl. He has bigger plans on his life. It certainly leaves a bad taste in Meggie’s mouth and so she’s furious. But while all these happened, Roe was eating Meggie’s special piccalilli which makes him ill. It should’ve been but the whole incident, to me, was strangely funny!When Onery and Jesse find Roe, they take him in. Onery decides the man would have to stay here and get well. Meggie, of course, doesn’t share this sentiment! She’s mad; on Roe and on herself for falling so easily for that slick, city stranger. Even though Meggie helps taking care of Roe, she ignores him as much as she could. Roe, as he is getting well, doesn’t like the feeling. He’s still resolute that there’s no way he’s taking it up with this innocent mountain girl. Roe has known women so he knows Meggie isn’t the type he can just have some mindless flings with and then leave her ruined when it’s time for him to leave. Other than that, he likes Jesse and her father. Jesse, simple though he is, would win anyone’s mind, Roe wasn’t any different. Onery is a jovial man and it’s easy to see why his offspring are so easy going living the tough life of the Ozark Mountains. Onery, when he hears of Roe’s work, isn’t very impressed. Scholarly life isn’t the most impressive thing in the mountains but Jesse sure is. He’s damn proud of his frien’! But anyway, Roe learns that Onery used to be a fiddler once and can sing, Jesse too and they invite Roe to stay with them for his research. Onery would introduce Roe to the next community meeting called the Literary and see if others are willing in his endeavor. But for that, Roe has to work with them! Oh boy, what do to now?! Roe can’t do a single thing that is called ‘farm work’ so he tries to pay them off for his lodgings, but Onery waves his money off. Work is what is necessary but I could already smell that Onery had a plan in mind, specially hearing what went on between him and Meggie... I could smell something fishy about that. Lol So Roe starts his mountain life, learning things. I loved those scenes a lot. Loved how Jesse would show things to Roe and so on. Jesse was so so adorable, can’t explain. He kind of stole the spotlight for me more than once. In the Literary, Roe gets to meet with the folks of this small-town, where everybody knows everybody else. The people of this community has come from the Piggotts and the McNeeses and with many intermarriages, everybody is everybody’s relative to some extent. But still, there are rivalries in between, some like Beulah Winsloe can’t stand Granny Piggott, who with her late husband, was the first to settle in here and so she reigns supreme. No matter what, Granny Piggott’s words are the law here, or at least no one can ignore her words. She’s one smart old woman, I liked her a lot. But the people are instantly suspicious of Roe and not willing to help him. Meggie comes to the Literary too with Jesse and Onery and meets up with her girlfriends. One, Eda is instantly interested in Roe but she’s pretty vain and self-centered with a rude mouth. Her interest doesn’t sit well with Meggie. She is always reminding herself that Roe is not the prince she thought him to be and yet, she can’t stand this interest from other women. Anyway, Onery asks Roe to mix up with people in the time he’s here, so that people get to know him and they probably will be more interested to help him them. Roe is hurt by the unwillingness but he sees the wisdom of Onery’s words. And he does that. At first he records songs and music from Jesse and Onery. Jesse is an exceptional fiddle player; it’s like his instinct. Music just flows through his hands. I’ve already mentioned how much I liked reading about the ‘mundane’ works of everyday life of Jesse and Meggie. I loved their easy banters. Jesse is always bringing in some critter/bugs/slimy creatures and scaring Meggie off with it. I loved how she’d go all ‘vermaint!!! I hate it!’ lol I wasn’t annoyed at Jesse because it was the source of such innocent fun for him. Meggie certainly wasn’t, though she hates those things with an inch of her life. One day, something happens. Roe was coming home with Jesse, when Jesse has this idea of scaring Meggie. They hear her in the wash-house so they figured she’s doing the washing. Jesse digs out a baby skink and tiptoeing he goes to the wash-house roof to drop it off. Jesse does that without looking, giggles and goes off when Meggie goes all ‘vermaint’ and screams (yah, those happened more than once :p). Roe didn’t really enjoy it, seeing how Meggie despised those critters but looking at Jesse’s giggle he can’t help starting to laugh. And then Roe decides to see what happened to Meggie, which kind of begins his undoing. He finds Meggie naked and wet from a bath. Meggie also sees him peeking through and feels desire running through her, a feeling she’s never really felt so far in her life or quite understood. They don’t really talk about it but it’s on their mind. By now, they have this truce and started talking to each-other, however minimal it was. Roe can’t help thinking about Meggie and as the days pass by, it becomes harder for him to ignore his desire for her. In the meantime, they attend a community meeting where this ‘kangaroo court’ is held. It’s meant for fun and they were having fun. Jesse plays his fiddle and everyone’s entranced. Roe goes to sit on the marrying stone, a stone which have centuries-old tradition in this little town and is known to have magical powers. The couple wanting to marry or having such intentions, can jump off this small stone and let everyone know about it. Actually, once a couple jumps, everyone take that as an unofficial marriage. This town is also named after this stone. Meggie follows him there, they talk to each-other and Roe can’t help but kiss her. Then something startles them and they jump the stone together to save themselves. Sadly, the community people see them and the townsfolk, kind of forcefully, declares them married. This brings trouble for them because Meggie knows Roe won’t be happy about this. Then the other traditions begin as people began coming to their house with the dowry, gifts from the community, to ‘set the young couple’s nest.’ Onery understands that Meggie and Roe do not want this but Jesse is surely happy that his ‘frien’ is now his family too. When, as considered family, the people began welcoming Roe more and offered help with his research, Roe makes a plan of a pretend marriage as long as he’s here. Meggie only wants to help him and ‘pretend’ a marriage if that’s as far as she can go with Roe Farley, so she agrees. It works out but it also puts a lot of mental and physical stress on them. They sure do want one another but apparently, can’t do anything about it. Onery isn’t happy about this situation but he relents on Meggie’s pressure. They begin attending ceremonies and gatherings as a couple. Roe can’t help but be possessive of Meggie, even though he knows he has no business being possessive.Roe continues his life with the Best family. At daytime he’d work hard and at the evening, he would go out with Jesse to record songs on his Ediphone from different townsfolk. One day, Jesse and Roe go to hunt bullfrogs at night. They come upon some guy who takes some of the frogs with a drink that’s known as ‘donk’ and both become drunk. I think I came across an odd but a really good scene here with Roe and Jess. As drunk, they open up their minds to each-other. Jesse talks about his ambitions and feelings, of his intentions of having a woman someday as a man want a woman. He talks about Althea McNees and how good she smells. They talk about sex, Jesse asking Roe about it and his experiences. Roe reluctantly tells him about his past lovers, not details mind you but how it feels and so on. It gave me the feeling that those were prostitutes and nothing else. He also tells Jesse that as a man, he has every right of have sex, and whatever Onery tells him doesn’t matter. Jesse is excited about it and informs Roe about some widow living down the mountains. They make a deal to visit her someday. Well, I’m glad that they never get to do that in the later part of the story! Meggie waits up for these two. Jesse injures his ankle and somehow Roe drags him home. Meggie is a bit angry about it and helps Roe to tuck Jesse in. Afterwards, one talk leads another and they somehow end up in the nearest forest, making love. Next day, Roe is horrified, knowing what he’s done in his inebriated state. It’s Meggie who is very calm about it. She doesn’t say ‘yes’ to Roe’s marriage proposal knowing he’s just doing his duty and someday would come to regret it and her. She tells Roe, when he leaves she’d make up some story to the folks about his death after some times and it’d not be a hurdle if she decides to marry since they already think she’s married to Roe and would be a widow to them. Roe is pissed as hell but he relents. Onery guesses what happened; only Jesse doesn’t. Then, life again goes on as usual. One day, soon enough Meggie and Roe end up making love again. Boy, Roe is one hell of a sexy nerd! lol It happens where they were building an extension of the cabin, for Roe and Meggie. She sends Jesse to bring some herbs for Onery’s bad leg. Roe again proposes to her. Meggie refuses and he gets angry. I was getting a bit exasperated by now. Soon, they all attend the marriage of Althea McNees and Paisley Winsloe, Beulah the dragon’s son. Paisley is a momma’s boy, like every of his family members. In his family, there’s no nay saying on Beulah’s words. Paisley wanted to marry Meggie a few months ago but Meggie was never interested in him. He’s a braggart if one every saw one. All know Althea to be nice and a reserved sort of girl, who lives with her uncle. She was abandoned by her father when she was young, right after her mother died and hasn’t really known affection in that sense. So her uncle was kinda dumping her to Paisley. There are subtle hints that Jesse likes Althea and his liking is different. No one actually believes that simpleminded Jesse can have feelings and desires like any other grown man, so he can go near the women gatherings in the community meeting. But Jesse likes the smell of women. It feels great. But Althea is always nice to him, not like some other folks who are rude and dismissive about him. Poor babe doesn’t even understand that ‘simple’ is rather a derogatory word here, and just not his name, when they call him Simple Jess. Althea and Paisley marry, not the best of matches but it’s done. Anyway, Roe is still trying to get Meggie to say ‘yes’ to him, but without any success. In the wedding, he and Paisley exchange words on Meggie, and Roe kisses her in front of everyone to show them they are happy together. Meggie gets angry and frustrated. How long can this lie go on, when she wants it to be a truth so badly? After this incident, they fight and Meggie asks Roe to leave this place. Roe immediately decides that he would. It pains him to leave Onery with his bad legs, pains him to lie to Jesse and certainly pains him to leave Meggie forever but he has no other option. He just doesn’t know how to love because he has never known love in his life.The last chapters were excellent. Meggie was living a listless life among all the activities. Jesse still didn’t know that Roe would return and so, he’d chatter away about Roe always, which made it harder for Meggie to forget about him. 3 months pass by and she’s yet to declare him dead to the community. She just can’t bring herself to do it. Suddenly she decides it’s time and she does. Jesse is heartbroken beyond words and his grief is as honest as his other emotions, it broke my heart too. I could see this dilemma that Meggie had and couldn’t really blame her, though the whole situation was really heartbreaking and depressing. Meanwhile, we read just one journal entry from Roe in the city, where he has presented his work but his work was rejected by the fellowship society. How utterly horrible! Now he’s thinking of doing a new research to earn this fellowship somehow but he still thinks of the mountain people and the Best family. But of Meggie, he tries not to think at all... As Meggie starts her mourning, Granny Piggott hearing the news comes to soothe her pain. But Meggie’s pain is of a different sort, of the loss of Roe in a different way and deceiving these people. Granny talks about her own life and her husband’s death, her wisdom about life. It was a great scene. Meggie listens to her and prepares herself for the next week’s funeral. But this funeral turned out to be a very very beautiful ending, which just left me crying. I was soooo happy for these two. For Jesse and Onery, too. Ah *sigh* Great introduction for me to Pamela Morsi’s work. Now, I’m off to read Jesse’s book because he’s a big reason why Marrying Stone is a 5 star from me.

  • Nour
    2019-04-19 20:39

    My God, just thinking that I almost overlooked this book makes my heart beat the tiniest bit faster! I don't know what changed my mind, but I'm unbelievably glad that I decided to read those first few pages of it.It was refreshingly different, and I absolutely adored it. The only thing that I was not very happy about was that as much as I tried to prolong reading this book, it still came to an end too soon--an end where there was a frog instead of a ring, but was one of the cutest most romantic things I've read this year. *sigh*The characters were ALL very interesting and fleshed-out, Meggie was a great heroine (the moment she woman-handled Roe I knew that she'd be a fave), and Roe was one sweet bespectacled dumbass that I loved. Onery I kind of despised, but Jesse was such a pure soul who made me look forward to read "Simple Jess", though I'm a bit wary about it tbh, because even though he sometimes seemed like the maturest most levelheaded person in Marrying Stone, other times he sounded like a little boy trapped in a hulky man's body. Anyway, this was an amazing book, and definitely worthy of all the five stars.

  • Widala
    2019-04-09 23:26

    I admit, I read this just to get some background before I read Simple Jess. But I got hooked. There's so much in this book than just a romance between Roe and Meggie. There's some guide on how to live in the mountains, how close knit community works, how to operate an ediphone, there's a lot of songs... but what stood out the most was the charming friendship between Roe and Jesse. I really like Roe's character. His willingness to learn and own up to his mistakes are admirable. Although he's a very educated man, he didn't look down to Marrying Stone people. I also like how the author created her characters. Although if you're looking for solely romance, you'd be slightly disappointed. Like I said earlier, there's a lot of stuff in this book. But don't worry the love was believable.

  • Paula
    2019-04-08 17:32

    I bought the book Simple Jess by Pamela Morsi not knowing that it was the second of a two book series. So I didn't read it till I found Marrying Stone. I just finished reading it and loved it. I haven't read many Historical Romances but this came with good recommendations so I tried it and loved it and can't wait to get started on Simple Jess.

  • Head in the clouds
    2019-04-16 18:34


  • Kelly
    2019-04-18 22:38

    DNF. This is the first Pamela Morsi book I haven't loved. I couldn't even finish it. If this is your first Pamela Morsi book, pick up a different one and give her a real chance.

  • Zel Polev
    2019-04-02 20:38

    I can't quite decide whether I think this book is insufferable or boring. My opinion went back and forth and I am still undecided. Nevertheless, the book is both. There is something that rubs me the wrong way about this book. I think it is because of both the main characters. I can't quite support Roe's condescension, although he does have a lot of reasons to be. I also can't support Meggie's slow wit. She is quite painfully naive and her singing the vagina song (the pink flower) was quite a WTF moment for me. Anyways, her biggest offense to me was her insistence on love. She has her fantasy overpowering reality and once reality doesn't match up, which it rightly doesn't because her fantasies are that of the prince charming variety. Anyways, she is pretty proud of her intelligence, which she doesn't really show in the book. I found her lacking in depth. Her whole character was this waiting princess role. Anyways, I can't stand their romance. It was definitely built on lust and I don't think they really developed a friendship. The highlight of this book was Jess. I thought he was endearing and sweet. I actually prefer reading the bromance. It seems to have more of a genuine feeling. Roe did come of as a really sincere guy in his friendship and Jesse is just really open with his feelings. I thought the time they got drunk was pretty good. Jess confided his issues, which no one really asks about. He, too, has hopes and dreams even if his intelligence is very limiting. Even if he presents a cheery nature, he is also like everybody else. I thought him waiting for Roe to come with him to visit the generous widow was sweet. His waiting showed that he was really unsure and hopeful that Roe remembered because he did and it was really important. I also thought the grandmother's condolence speech was pretty good. I thought it was a good take on love, something that you build day by day. The story revolves around Roe and Meggie. Roe was a scholar who came to the Ozarks to record songs. His thesis was that the isolated community preserved songs that were centuries old and were Scottish and Irish origins. Meggie locked in on him as her prince charming. He had a good bearing and was really polite. However, when it became clear that he wasn't, their attraction to each other wasn't so welcome. Roe always pictured himself with someone more sophisticated and Meggie was a bumpkin, so to speak. He wasn't looking to marry Meggie and Meggie thought that wasn't very princelike. He gets stuck there when he is poisoned by Meggie's cooking. He ends up staying and when he is recovered, he stays to record the songs. It wasn't until they started their faux marriage that people welcomed him in the community. They decided they would be fake married and he would leave by the end of the summer and she would tell people he died. They end up consummating that fake marriage and he asked for her hand. He was drunk the first time and Meggie rightly thought that she wasn't for him. He told her about his image of a wife and she wasn't it. She couldn't fit into his society and she wasn't looking to leave the mountains. She refused his marriage proposals. He left and she told people he was dead. He returned the day of his funeral. By then, both had their epiphanies and they embraced their love. They got married for real.

  • Celestine
    2019-03-20 18:14

    So if you've seen the 2000 movie "Songcatcher," starring the gorgeous Aidan Quinn, then you have seen a version of this book. Change the gender of the songcatcher and move the location from the Appalachians to the Ozarks and you have some strong similarities between the book and the movie. Interestingly enough, Pamela Morsi's hardcover edition of The Marrying Stone predated the movie by six years.The sequel to The Marrying Stone, a book called Simple Jess, was the first to catch my notice. Reviewers suggested reading The Marrying Stone first, and I'm glad I did. Besides providing a great backstory to Jess, this book introduces the reader to this iconic Ozarks community at the turn of the 20th century.The main characters are mountain girl Meggie Best and Harvard musicologist Roe Farley. Morsi does a credible job of illustrating the attraction between these two unlikely people. The informality of the mountain folk is a shock to Roe, who is used to buttoned-up Eastern society. Roe's attraction starts with a glimpse of Meggie's bare toes, and that theme runs through the book. He also comes to appreciate the intelligence and wisdom of the members of the Best family, despite their lack of formal education. As unlikely as it seems, Roe comes to feel part of their family and part of the mountain community, which is something he has never had. Meggie and Roe get caught up in local folklore, but turn it to their advantage, falling in love along the way. The tension comes from the end-of-summer deadline Roe has on collecting his music; he must leave to complete his work at Harvard. They both know Meggie will never leave the Ozarks.My one criticism, and the reason this is four stars instead of five, is that it takes a long, long time for the romance to heat up. Halfway into the book, there are just a few stolen kisses. The book suffers from too much internal dialogue, and perhaps the wooing would have moved along if Meggie and Roe had actually had a few more conversations. And maybe I didn't need to read seven pages about frog hunting.Although I nit-picked about the frog hunting, Morsi's ability to craft a sense of time is excellent. She suffuses the book with details that firmly place the reader in a primitive setting early in the 1900s. She is also one of the best at fleshing out secondary characters. Onery Best, Jess Best and Granny Piggott are people I would want to know. Meddling elders like Onery and Granny have wisdom to impart, plus they just about steal every scene in which they appear.I had a very enjoyable time on Marrying Stone Mountain.

  • Lilmissmolly
    2019-04-11 19:41

    The Marrying Stone by Pamela Morsi just received an excellent update with Audible narration. Originally published in 1994, The Marrying Stone involves a tight knit community in the Ozarks at the turn of the 20th century. Having grown up near the Appalachia Mountains of West Virginia myself, I couldn’t help but chuckle at the backward ways of the people in Marrying Stone, Arkansas, including their blunt speech about personal matters - but it describes my family today!The story begins when Harvard musicologist Monroe “Roe” Farley arrives in Marrying Stone in search of proof for his theory that folk music in the Ozark Mountains has its roots in Celtic songs from hundreds of years ago. He first meets Jess a young man working in the fields, who is not “the brightest bulb in the shed,” as my Grandmother used to say. But Jess is kindhearted and trusting, and without hesitation takes Roe home to meet his father and sister. Within a few hours, Roe is invited to stay with the family until his research is complete [this was very believable because I recall my grandfather invited a virtual stranger to stay with us once over the holidays when I was a teenager!], and Roe’s attraction to Jess’s sister Meggie is undeniable.The plot and character development is excellent, including a few very detailed and hilarious secondary characters. You can see Roe’s slow realization that Jess and his family are intelligent, despite not having a formal education. Roe also appreciates how affectionate they are toward each other and he realizes by the end of the book that he never felt like part of a family until he lived in the Ozarks.Kevin Clay did a fantastic job narrating. He really brought the characters to life giving each one their own distinct voice. His narration was natural and easy to listen to; I could easily imagine I was watching a movie rather than listening to an audiobook. I received a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest unbiased review from Audiobook Blast. In short, I highly recommend this audio book!

  • Audiothing
    2019-04-10 18:25

    AUDIOBOOK EDITIONOutlineIt's the early 1900s and musicologist J. Monroe Farley (Roe) has travelled to the Ozarks. He has a theory and wants to study the music of the area.He meets up with the Best family, daughter Meggie believes he is the Prince Charming she has dreamed of for so many years. With both coming from completely different backgrounds, Meggie being raised in the Ozarks and Roe educated at Harvard, they certainly don't share the same life view. It is their different outlooks and different life expectations that provide the story with plenty of scope, some quite humorous.I found it quite slow to start, consequently it took me a while to become involved in the story, but I did like the way the characters slowly developed and moved towards an appreciative realisation of each others differences.I quite enjoyed the book and though I appreciate the quality and style of the writing, as it is a romance, albeit historical, I don't think I quite fit the intended readership, but the music helped it along.NarratorA fine narration by Kevin Clay, I enjoyed the wonderful rhythmn and tone of his voice, very easy to listen to. His vocal gender changes and characterisations are excellent, the listener won't be left guessing at who is speaking. For me, he made the story more interesting, he carries it along at the right pace and his timing is spot on. I enjoyed the accents, being non-American I can't vouch for the accuracy but they sounded pretty good to me. Disclaimer: audiobook provided by the narrator in return for an honest review

  • Terri
    2019-04-06 19:26

    I was given this audio book free in exchange for an honest review. This story was set in the Ozark Mountains in the early 1900's. It's the story of J. Monroe Farley, who has traveled to the Ozarks to capture the songs and music of the area to try to confirm his theory that it is still a pure form of early music brought to the country by their ancestors. Upon arriving to the Ozarks he stumbles across the Best family and reluctantly agrees to stay with them after suffering greatly from the daughter's attempt at cooking.Meggie Best has read fairy tales all her life and has been waiting for her Prince Charming to arrive. She's convinced that Roe is all she's been waiting for until he announces that he has no intention of marrying her and then becomes ill from her cooking. Prince Charming, indeed! She's attracted to him, but over him. Her brother, Simple Jess, has declared that Roe is his friend and goes about trying to teach Roe to farm the poor land. There are many moments of hilarity, misunderstandings and cultural clashes. There's also the attraction between barefoot Meggie and cultured Roe. There are actual songs thrown in the mix that really added a lot to the story. The different voices used by Kevin Clay added even more. At first it felt like this was going to be a simple book telling a simple story, but as it develops you realize the many different types and depths of love displayed in this story. It really was beautiful. I can't wait to go on to the story of Simple Jess

  • Linda
    2019-04-04 22:31

    MARRYING STONE was the first romance of two drawing from the town of Marrying Stone Mountain, Arkansas. It is 1902 and J. Monroe 'Roe' Farley was a man with a mission. He'd convinced the Harvard fellowship committee to allow him the summer to search the Ozarks for unknown Irish and English ballads. He was a scholar of Medieval and Renaissance musicology and he intended to prove that the Celtic music heritage originated closer to home. Unbeknownst to him he was going to arrive in a time and place that was nothing like he thought it would be.His first contact was with Jesse Best, a lug of a guy with a simple mind. Both sweet and helpful, he assisted Roe to his home. Meggie Best, Jesse's sister, had dreamed all of her life of a prince who would sweep her away. Upon meeting Roe she thought she finally met royalty.Both goofy and hokey, Roe and Meggie find they have to give before they can take. Coons, possums and gigging are part of this community. Roe has to continually remind himself of his mission until Meggie throws him another life lesson taking him one step back. Light and silly at times, the townspeople intrude to let them know what they think is best. Probably closer to 2.5 stars I liked the story because it took my mind off of more serious things at the time. Read it if you are looking for a plot that is a little different. If you enjoy this book look for the sequel, SIMPLE JESS.

    2019-04-18 18:19

    This essentially is a set-up for Simple Jesse. I have...issues...with it.Meggie is a dreamer, spends lots of time in her head. Fine but... she pounces on the H within a short time of meeting him (all but giving him the early 20th century equivalent of a lap dance). He dumps her on her arse about the time her father and brother come in. Later, after they've inadvertently jumped the Stone, and he asks her to marry him for real, she constantly turns him down, saying he's not going to stay, and she doesn't want to leave. Uh...wasn't that what was in her head when he walked in the door in the first place - someone to rescue her from drudgery?Ok, I mostly have issues with the h.Jesse is portrayed...oddly. Or is it inconsistently. He's treated like a 4 year old pretty much. Not allowed to use a gun unless his dad is with him (he's in his 20s I guess, book doesn't say), nobody thinks him capable of learning anything, including himself apparently, but... he's musically gifted. Right. Ya know, if you can learn to play a fiddle and play it well, you can learn to read/write/do at least basic math. So either he's simple, in which case he shouldn't be able to play anything faster than Amazing Grace (and that probably not very well), or he's slow and nobody has bothered to teach him anything. No - they aren't the same thing. One has limits, one just takes longer.

  • Patty
    2019-03-20 23:26

    --I was given a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.I read Simple Jess first, which I totally fell in love with. The character of Jessie is just refreshing and lovable. This being the first in the series, I was looking forward to the same kind of feel. I liked this one, but not as much. Meggie, Jess's sister throws herself at Roe the minute he walks in their cabin door, thinking he will be the Prince Charming of her fairy tales. To say the least, their relationship is a rocky on. I really enjoyed Roe, I thought his transformation from city scholar to country farmer was well evolved. He is a complex character and you get to see many different sides of him. I especially loved his friendship with Jessie. It was honest and true, something you don't get to see often, he doesn't see Jessie's slowness as a disability,but just as a part of him. This kept me interested. The character of Meggie was not as warm and fuzzy for me. She was immature and harsh, and in the end, lucky in my opinion that the story ended as it did!Kevin Clay again gave us an incredible performance. I just love his voice, it is warm and soothing. He is able to portray women well, and with this book gave us some very good singing performances! I always enjoy his narrations.

  • Phylisha Stone
    2019-03-30 18:25

    Love Meggie and Monroes story

  • Lisa
    2019-03-23 22:17

    Marrying Stone is another delightful story from Pamela Morsi! Set in the Ozark Mountains in 1902, a young musicologist named J. Monroe Farley travels to the Ozarks from Cambridge in the Bay State on a fellowship from Harvard to study and record the folk songs of the area. His theory is that Scottish and Irish settlers brought many of these traditional tunes to this part of America, and he hopes to preserve them on his Ediphone before they are lost forever. Although his intentions are purely academic, his plans go awry when he accepts the hospitality of the Best family - father Onery, son Jesse and daughter Meggie. During the spring and summer of that year, he is welcomed into their home in exchange for working on their farm. Young "Roe" discovers friendship, the benefits of hard work and something even more unexpected - love - in these remote mountains, as well as a shared love for the music.

  • Sheila Melo
    2019-03-27 18:44

    Sweet Romance with Strong Sense of PlaceMARRYING STONE is the story of Roe Farley, a Harvard academic who comes to the Ozarks in 1902 to study folk songs. He meets Meggie Best, a dreamer who immediately believes that Roe is her prince come in the flesh. Roe, however, is an honorable man who intends only to complete his research and return to his life in Massachusetts. This is a beautiful story. This book tells the story of a unique place. I was continually fascinated by the depth and beauty of this story. There is a great appreciation for the simplicity of the people and life in the Ozarks. There is also a great sense of reality. These two characters come to appreciate the difference between the imaginings of love and the reality of living a life together with love. This book also has a wonderful friendship between Roe and Meggie's brother Jesse.

  • Patt
    2019-04-02 17:28

    I have read several of Pamela Morsi's books and have really enjoyed them, so I had high expectations of "Marrying Stone" and I wasn't disappointed. I liked character driven books and the characters in this book are well developed, I felt as if I knew them by the end of the book. I enjoyed the conflict between the 2 main characters and the slow build of their relationship. I really liked the character, Jess, and look forward to reading his story. I listened to the audiobook and I highly recommend it. Kevin Clay did an excellent job creating distinct voices for each character and his singing voice was a pleasant surprise, it added greatly to the experience. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

  • Maura
    2019-04-09 21:17

    Sweet read. I love stories where the romance is between two unlikely people. I love how the author sets her stories in wonderful towns filled with interesting characters. Set in 1902 Arkansas the hero of the tale is Roe a harvard educated man of money working on a thesis of folk tunes carried from the highlands of Scotland were the basis of this regions "hillbilly" tunes. With that idea he has brought a new "Edison listening box" to record music and present his thesis. Think tv show Northern Exposure. Roe learns that a college education can't compare to practical application and learns more about himself than any music thesis could.

  • April
    2019-04-13 21:43

    "This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast."This is a wonderful historical fiction. The plot and characters are so vivid and you will grow to love them and their lives. I want to find the second book "Simple Jess."The narration was excellent with the dialect of old time Ozarks and the scholarly Harvard graduate!