This is book three of a four-part series. I did not read the first books, and there were several places I felt a little lost. A lot happened in the first two books that leads into what happens here. On the whole, however, I did understand what was going on, so it's not really necessary to read the first books if you're willing to give up the comfort of knowing everything.
I agree with the other review: too much angst. I never really understood what all was going on in the emotion department. I love him, I hate him, I love him but I'm going to kill him, maybe I won't kill him but I want to, although I still love him. A few times I shook my head and asked myself, "What is all of this?"
The other question I asked myself repeatedly was, "Her other books weren't written like this, were they?" It's been a few years, but I've read a lot of her other books and this style just didn't seem like her. Not the writing style, and especially not the kind of romance story this is. When I looked it up online, I saw that MZB died in 1999, and this book was published in 2002. More of her books were published up to 2007. Possible she wrote them before her death, also possible there is a ghost writer using her good name? Or possible I simply don't remember her style as well as I thought I did.
This book was good. The story was very entertaining. The only thing that I didn't like about it was all the angst everyone was feeling. And I mean everyone. MZB does a great job telling about the people that live in the West Virginia mountains. And their beliefs. A very good read.