Curses and Other Buried Things

Narrated by Hallie Ricardo
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Pub Date 10 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 10 Nov 2023

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Blood holds all kinds of curses.

Seven generations of women in Susana Prather’s family have been lost to the Georgia swamp behind her house. The morning after her eighteenth birthday, she awakens soaked with water, with no memory of sleepwalking. No matter how she tries to stop it, she’s pulled from her safe bed night after night, haunted by her own family history and legacy. Now, the truth feels unavoidable: it’s only a matter of time before she loses her mind and the swamp becomes her grave.

Unless she can figure out how to break the curse.

When she isn’t sleepwalking, she’s dreaming of her great-great-great-great-grandmother, Suzanna Yawn, who set the curse in motion in 1855. Her ancestor’s life bears such similarity to her own that it might hold the key she seeks. Or it might only foretell tragedy.

As Susana seeks solutions in the past and the present, family members hold secrets tighter to their chests, friends grow distant, and old flames threaten to sputter and die. But Susana has something no one else has been able to seize: the unflagging belief that all curses can be broken and that love can help a new future begin.

Based on her own family history, award-winning novelist Caroline George’s latest novel is a staggeringly beautiful work of hope.

Blood holds all kinds of curses.

Seven generations of women in Susana Prather’s family have been lost to the Georgia swamp behind her house. The morning after her eighteenth birthday, she awakens...

Advance Praise

“A teenager strives to break a generations-old curse in which the firstborn daughter always meets a tragic end in this propulsive story by George (The Summer We Forgot) . . . Sumptuous, dark details increase the creeping atmosphere of this judiciously rendered psychological exploration of blame, healing, and trauma.”—Publisher’s Weekly

 “Pulses with Southern Gothic mystery and atmosphere like the hum of summer-night cicadas, and glows with hope and love like the fireflies that illuminate the sultry dark. The only thing that will slow your page-turning is pausing every other line to read a perfect sentence a few more times.”—Jeff Zentner, Morris Award-winning author of The Serpent King

“Caroline George spins an immersive, beautifully crafted tale about overcoming the life-defining words we’ve always heard about ourselves and finding the courage to live in freedom. Unforgettable.”—Laura Taylor Namey, New York Times bestselling author of A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow

“Caroline George creates an authentic sense of place for her deep south small town—it feels like sitting in someone’s living room listening to local gossip.”—Isaac Marion, New York Times bestselling author of the Warm Bodies series

“Past and present are richly intertwined in this gorgeously written, atmospheric novel.”—Lygia Day Peñaflor, author of Creep: A Love Story

“Caroline George weaves an intricate, soul-stirring story that wonderfully illustrates the power of our words—both spoken and unspoken—and the authority we grant them over our lives. Brimming with poetic and lyrical language, Caroline breathes vibrant life into her characters and into the hearts of everyone who reads them.”—Ellen Everett, author of I Saw You as a Flower and If Hearts Had Training Wheels

“Full of mystery and an eerie resonance, Curses and Other Buried Things explores the bonds, the beauty, and the bitterness of family inheritances against a southern gothic setting that seeps into the reader like swamp water.”—Autumn Krause, author of Before the Devil Knows You’re Here and A Dress for the Wicked

“A teenager strives to break a generations-old curse in which the firstborn daughter always meets a tragic end in this propulsive story by George (The Summer We Forgot) . . . Sumptuous, dark details...

Available Editions

EDITION Audiobook, Unabridged
ISBN 9780785236269
DURATION 13 Hours, 37 Minutes, 44 Seconds

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (AUDIO)

Average rating from 83 members

Featured Reviews

Thank you to Caroline George, NetGalley and Harper Collins Christian Publishing for the opportunity to listen to this intricate tale of a young woman who is determined to break the curse that has plagued the first born female in her family for 7 generations beginning in 1855.

The curse becomes true around the 18th birthday of each of these young women and Susana Prather is determined to break this curse. The night of her 18th birthday, or the deadline as she puts its, finally arrives and she goes to sleep. When Suzanna wakes up she is covered in water and has no recollection of sleepwalking. So she has to hides things from her family. Her family is hiding things too! What is it going to take to break the cycle?

This tale set in the deep south really hits home. So many of the 'sayings', 'words of wisdom' and 'wives tales' have been used in my home over the years.

"Life is what you make it, but not everyone receives the same material."

This was a beautifully narrated novel with a multi-generational story, with romance, mystery and suspense, while at the same time being a wholesome, Christian book that covers issues that young people in today's world deal with.

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Thanks to Harper Collins Christian Publishing, Thomas Nelson Publishing, NetGalley, author Caroline George, and narrator Hallie Richards for the advance copy of this audiobook. Based on some of the authors family history the women in this story are compelling and quite interesting characters. I was swept up in the story and felt as though I was being a witness to the events that happened to them. It is such a fascinating experience to witness a part of history, even mixed with fiction, from the perspective of women and how they have become stronger in their roles in life was refreshing. I highly recommend this book.

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Curses and Other Buried Things by Caroline George is her latest novel, and, as with her other novels, you can expect a bit of mysticism and whimsy, while dealing with important subjects. Susanna Prather is cursed. She’s the first born daughter several generations through, and each first born daughter has been cursed. They don’t usually live much past 18. When she turns 18 and the swamp where she lives begins to call to her, she finds herself desperately seeking answers to her family history and how to break the curse. Told in a partly dual timeline, we read about the first Susanna also: a young woman whose family struggles for peace in the 1800s. I really enjoyed the story and the whimsy, although I wish the ending had been a bit less open-ended than I felt it was. The narrator did a great job as well.

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I loved this and I also found it confusing. The narration was perfection! It was absolutely perfect. You cannot top the narration.
I was confused because the town and everything is normal and then bam - curse drama!
School and then curse drama!
I loved the setting of a small town next to a swamp with generations of romance and drama.
You would think they'd stop naming kids "Suzanne" after a few generations of curses but I am not Southern, so I don't know why they would keep it going.
I love that these young people were digging up corpses and being killed by a curse and stuff. That's unbeatable.

Yes This is a five star book. Just be smarter than me for maximum enjoyment.

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Curses and Other Buried Things
Caroline George
In 1855 Susanna Yawn placed a curse on her descendants. The first-born daughter in each generation begins to feel the draw of the swamp on her eighteenth birthday. Each daughter is named Susanna, and they resemble their ancestor. The morning after they turn eighteen, they begin sleepwalking to the swamp and they awaken to a bed soaked in swamp water. They have dreams centering around their great-great-great-great-grandmother.
Susanna Prather is next in line. She has just celebrated her eighteenth birthday. The pull of the swamp has already begun. Her dreams center around Susanna Yawn. Susanna P. sees the similarities between her life and Susanna Y’s. life. If she is to survive Susanna P. knows she must break the curse but how. Susanna P believes the key must be somewhere between the past and present. Members of her family have secrets but won’t share them. Who can she turn to.
The setting for this book is the Georgia swamp area. The prose of author Caroline George’s transported me to the rural area surrounding the swamp. I could smell the brackish water, I could feel the humidity, I could hear the birds as they called out. The swamp took on a life of its own. It became one of the characters.
The characters have great depth. The plot is unique. I am unsure what to say about this book. I have written and deleted several paragraphs because they seemed inadequate or to tell too much of the story. However, I must say that if you tell someone over and over that they are cursed, that they will do something it becomes ingrained in them. Were the Susannas all mentally ill, were they cursed, or were they indoctrinated to believe they were cursed and to believe they would be taken by the swamp.
What I learned from this tale: Your parents’ past does not determine who you are. What people say about you is unimportant and should not affect your future. You do not have to be trapped by your family history, make your own.

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Adding to my ebook review . . . this narrator was spot on. Loved her voice so much. Looking forward to more books narrated by her (and bonus if it's a Caroline George novel!!!)

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This is the kind of book I will recommend to everyone and their cat. It's a magical realism southern gothic story that will have you breathless by the end- but its real magic is depicting generational trauma and breaking that cycle. It even has resources in the author's note, which I found beyond amazing!

I should have started with the facts: the writing is gorgeous and immersive, the characters are fascinating, and the intertwining of past and present threads is flawless 🖤

Specifically about the audiobook: I love the narration! Simple and clear tone in a soothing voice, it was great to listen to!

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I loved the folklore and the historical aspects of this book the most with the way it talks about how lives are interconnected throughout history. It has a touch of romance and even a love triangle. The story follows Suzanne and all the Susie’s that came before her on the trail to break the curse that has plagued them and caused them all to go crazy. The narrator is truly amazing and conveys emotions well with her words

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"And if I am destined to burn, I want to go out like flames... not ambers. "
- Curses and Other Buried Things by Caroline George

This is not the story of 3 people living today. It is a history of repeated cycles going in circles for generations. Every firstborn in Susana's family has been lost to the swamp, and after her 18th birthday, unnatural events have started to occur. Every night, she goes to sleep and wakes up drenched in swamp water. What she feared the most was about to come true as she lost her sleep, mind, and peace to the curse, that is, if she couldn't find a way to break it.

Showcasing generational trauma affecting the lives of people in the family and the town they live in, the book draws your attention to what happens when you give a thought to too much power. Developed in an ambience of swamps, mental illness, curses, nightmares, and skeletons (both actual ones and metaphorical ones in the closet) - it translates to a perfect spooky to me. With the underlying story of emotional bonds of forbidden love, the book added another layer to its causes. You will find yourself rooting for the characters and begging the protagonist to do something about it.

It is true when they say 'the best fiction is created from real stories'. The author has plucked instances from her own life and embedded them into the book, so make sure to keep reading till the end. I was surprised to find how much of it was real.

Thank you @netgalley @harpercollinschristian @authorcarolinegeorge for the digital ARC

Genre: #psychologicalmystery #fantasy
Age group: #teens #ya
Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

P.S: If this isn't your perfect start to Spooktober, I don't know what is

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I was thinking what am I reading most of the time I was reading this one! I wanted to know what was going on. Is Susana cursed, or her family or some other family cursed? Why is anyone cursed? What’s up with the swamp? I loved all the characters. Susana was my favorite. The family drama and secrets were such a twist. I highly recommend this book. I cannot wait to read more by this author. The narration was so good. Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins Christian Publishing for the arc I’m exchange for my honest review.

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This book is a great metaphor for generational trauma and cycle breaking! I felt this book as it was happening. The descriptions and details made it feel like I was in the swamp feeling it around my legs. Our main character is going through so much a curse, family secrets, friendship drama, boy troubles, all while she is trying to break her families terrible cycle of pain. I was captivated by this story and can not wait to talk about it with my book friends!

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Curses and Other Buried Things is an atmospheric, poignant story of generational trauma. Set in a small southern town, Caroline George does an absolutely amazing job of bringing the reader into the story, to the point where you can almost feel the wet vines on your feet, smell the swamp, or hear the cicadas in the distance.

Multiple generations, each with a curse that the first born will die after their 18th birthday. Present day Susana Prather is set on breaking this curse. She does everything she can NOT to get called to the swamp, and to find out more about generations past. Traumas are revealed, secrets, and lies.

The setting of this reminded me a lot in part of “Where the Crawdads Sing”, and I found myself imagining what a breathtaking movie this book would make.

While not technically a thriller, it’s a great goth mystery, especially good to read in October and spooky season.

Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson and Zondervan Audio for this audio advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Pub date: 10 October 2023

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I’m dumbfounded! This book is amazing and definitely in my feels! I would HIGHLY recommend this book! This book is almost poetic to me. It’s one’s of those books you have to reread over and over again!

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First off, many thanks to NetGalley for letting me read this book as an audio ARC! I greatly appreciate it!
I'm a big fan of southern gothic stories, and wow, this one did not disappoint! The setting is eerie and beautifully realized, the main characters are pretty interesting, with all their secrets and their histories, and the writing style is just gorgeous! I would absolutely love to read more from this author!
I specially got the audiobook edition, and the narrator did a very nice job! Her voice is well suited to the story, which is always a bonus.
The one negative I can think of is that there are just so very many characters. Also one of them is named Missouri, which I can't decide if I love or hate. Still, it's not enough of a complaint to cost even half a star. This book is just amazing!
Five out of five stars for Curses and Other Buried Things!

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This was some wild hillbilly shenanigans in the holler! As Susana Prather's family history unfolds we see how seven generations of women have been lost to the swamp and discover if the curse that has plagued their family will end with Susana. This is a book of loss, tragedy, grief, generational trauma and how our bloodlines hold curses with the secrets that have been kept.

I loved how the author wrote this book in multiple timelines, how she slowly unfurled mysteries and long-kept secrets. It was a slow-burn mystery that drags you into the swamp and doesn't let go. The writing was so atmospheric and moody. The author's note at the end is a must read, because it will send you on a literature review journey that just pulls the book together in a whole new way - A week later and I am still thinking about this book! The narration for the audiobook is done by one of my favorite narrators, she really brought the story to life and is a big reason why it was such a moody and atmospheric read.

The only reason that I would not suggest this book is if any of the well-defined triggers are triggering to you. Other than that this is a new auto-rec for anyone that loves a good mystery or drama, with a whole lot of mystical realism thrown in.

Overall, I loved this book. Honestly, I can't wait to dive into it again and read it from a whole different perspective. I will be recommending this one far and wide!

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This a mesmerizing YA southern gothic novel with a gripping storyline. Susana's curse and her journey to break it are beautifully interwoven with the theme of generational trauma. As the story unfolds, we are drawn into the intricate web of her family's generational trauma and the weight it carries. It was very intriguing to me as this is based on the authors own family history.
The narrator, Hallie Ricardo did a wonderful job portraying Susana and the other characters in the book. She used a variety of tones and inflections throughout. I highly recommend the audiobook.

The book's atmospheric prose and captivating storytelling make it a must-read for those who appreciate powerful narratives.

Favorite quotes:
"Blood holds all kinds of curses."
"Free people free other people."
"I choose freedom and so can you."

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What a beautiful, haunting story! The blend of reality and folklore is perfect. The twists were amazing; the romance even better! This is an eerie family drama with a lot of heart. I loved and appreciated the author's notes in the beginning and end. It's always a treat and wonder to get a bit of the author behind the story. This book was clearly written from her spirit, and it shows.

The narrator was clear and even--clear enough that I could listen at almost 3x speed, which I love. She wasn't weirdly emotional and kept the intensity even. My *only* criticism is that she did the male voices a little weird.

Thank you NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for an audio-arc to listen and review, voluntarily.

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Caroline George! 5 stars!
What's better than settling down to read a good book? Reading a good book you know is based on facts and history from the author. Especially one thats southern gothic romance in the midst of October.
This book has a beautifully written plot that is not annoyingly repetitive. Georges writing brought the story to life! There's a few dozen quotes I wrote down that I loved. The characters were so relatable and interactive. The idea of a generational curse made for a great storyline. I simply cannot say enough about this book.

Thank you Netgalley, Harper Collins Christian, author Caroline George for the digital ARC. This positive review was based on my honest opinions and not required by any means.

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I'm completely blown away but how well written and read this was. The author really conveyed what she was trying to say, don't let generational trauma dictate your life. No matter how hard it is, break the cycle. And the characters did exactly that. In such a beautiful poetry way too. I absolutely loved the narrator as well. She made me feel like the main character was actually speaking unlike a lot of other audio books. I will definitely recommend and listen to this one again.

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What an amazing book dripping in generational trauma. Set in the present and past this book combs through family history. Susanna believes she is cursed and will die by her 18th birthday. She feels like she has so much pressure she has to live up to for her grandparents. She tries everything to make sure she doesn't end up like her mother who she is named for. Come to find out all the women in her family who is a first born daughter is named Susanna and looks just like her great grandmother Susanna and meets an early end to her life. The past and the present intwine in this novel and we learn about the family curse and how the curse can be broken. A must read book that will remind you that the past doesn't define you, YOU make your own destiny.

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I absolutely love reading thrillers especially during this time of year. What I enjoyed the most about the audiobook was the narrators ability to make me feel at home. I'm from the south and I felt in the moment. The storyline was engaging; the twists and turns and mysteries made it hard to press pause.

Fantastic job and thank you for the ALC.

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Thanks #netgalley for this book in exchange for an honest review. This was different than most books I read but it was a pleasant switch for me. Fun, complex story that kept my interest until the end.

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This year has been the year of books with curses for me and this book did not disappoint! Susana has always believed that the women in her family have been cursed and as she nears the age of the curse, she finds herself sleepwalking. While attempting to find out the ways to break the curse, Susana starts to uncover familial secrets. With flashbacks to Susana's ancestors, readers are immersed in this story and the mystery of it all! The narration in the audiobook was a perfect fit for this story! It kept me engaged and into the story. Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for the advanced audio copy! All thoughts and opinions are my own!

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I was trying to multi-task, crochet while listening to this book. Nope! The narrator did such a fine job of grabbing my attention, I could only stop and listen.

When the woman of this family reach majority, the curse kicks in. No matter the actions they take, the swamp will claim them eventually. It's a great plot line and a great story, the narration pushed it over the top!!!

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This book was intriguing and engulfing. Once I started it I couldn't put it down. The voice of the reader was equally as engaging and wrapped you around their finger and engulfed you in the story. Highly suggest reading this book it's a perfect one for this season.

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