The Fabled Earth

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Pub Date Oct 01 2024 | Archive Date Nov 01 2024

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Inspired by the little-known history of Cumberland Island, The Fabled Earth is a sweeping story of family lore and the power of finding your own voice as Southern mythology and personal reckoning collide with a changing world.

1932. Cumberland Island off the coast of Southern Georgia is a strange place to encounter the opulence of the Gilded Age, but the last vestiges of the famed philanthropic Carnegie family still take up brief seasonal residence in their grand mansions there. This year's party at Plum Orchard is a lively group: young men from some of America's finest families come to experience the area's hunting beside a local guide; a beautiful debutante expecting to be engaged by the week's end, and a promising female artist who believes she has meaningful ties to her wealthy hosts. But when temptations arise and passions flare, an evening of revelry and storytelling goes horribly awry. Lives are both lost and ruined.

1959. Reclusive painter Cleo Woodbine has lived alone for decades on Kingdom Come, a tiny strip of land once occupied by the servants for the great houses on nearby Cumberland. When she is visited by the man who saved her life nearly thirty years earlier, a tempest is unleashed as the stories of the past gather and begin to regain their strength. Frances Flood is a folklorist come to Cumberland Island seeking the source of a legend - and also information about her mother, who was among the guests at a long-ago hunting party. Audrey Howell, briefly a newlywed and now newly widowed, is running a local inn. When she develops an eerie double exposure photograph, some believe she's raised a ghost--someone who hasn't been seen since that fateful night in 1932.

As a once-in-a-century storm threatens the natural landscape and shifting tides reveal what Cumberland Island has hidden all along, two timelines and the perspectives of three women intersect to illuminate the life-changing power of finding truth in a folktale.

The Fabled Earth:

  • Is great for book clubs with its included discussion questions
  • Makes a great gift for readers of Alice Hoffman, Kate Morton, Sarah Addison Allen, and Emelia Hart
  • New York Times bestselling author William Kent Krueger called Brock’s The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare, “Complex, compelling, and beautifully crafted.”

Inspired by the little-known history of Cumberland Island, The Fabled Earth is a sweeping story of family lore and the power of finding your own voice as Southern mythology and personal reckoning...

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ISBN 9781400234226
PRICE $28.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 13 members

Featured Reviews

Thanks to NetGalley and Harper for the opportunity to read The Fabled Earth by Kimberly Brock.

Cumberland Island is a mysterious, magical place. Kimberly Brock, in her very distinctive voice, has captured it perfectly. Bravo!!

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Thank you @harpermusebooks and @netgalley for the eARC of The Fabled Earth by @kimberlydbrock in exchange for an honest review.

📖📖 Book Review 📖📖 On an island off the coast of Georgia, southern charm meets with lore of Appalachia and Ireland for a beautiful cultural richness that seems almost magical. Kimberly Brock writes an immersive novel where both the characters and their surrounding environment comes alive and encompasses the reader, you can almost hear the sound of the water that brings life to Cumberland Island. Even on land that became a playground for some of the wealthiest people, there is a rich connection to the earth. The story weaves flawlessly from 1959 back to 1932, creating an intricately woven and captivating story. The Fabled Earth is an enchanting, beautifully written book that resonates deep in the soul.


Review is posted on Goodreads and will be on Instagram ahead of the publication date.

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This is an immersive story where the author puts the reader into the landscape -- and what a landscape it is. Scenic and rustic, dripping with myth and legend, Cumberland Island practically comes alive in Brock's hands. The story is somewhat complicated -- there's a lot going on - but the storytelling is lovely. For the most part, the 1932 and 1959 timelines work well together. The pacing is somewhat leisurely so this is not recommended for readers looking for a page turner. Readers who delight in sensory details and rich scenery will find much to love here.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance e-galley; all opinions in this review are 100% my own.

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If you enjoy immersing yourself in a story and a landscape the blurs the lines between real and imagined, history and dream, you'll love THE FABLED EARTH by Kimberly Brock! Brock masterfully weaves past and present timelines together through her cast of endearing, unique characters reckoning with the ghosts of their past and the changing tides of the future. Set against the lush, austere backdrop of 1930s and 1950s Cumberland Island, THE FABLED EARTH introduces us to Cleo, Frances, and Audrey, who are each coming to terms with their histories and finding their way forward in a swiftly changing world.

Beautifully written and touching til the end, this should be on your must-read list for fall!

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This is the kind of book I am always hoping to discover, an engrossing story with poetic passages I want to write down and remember. There is a large cast of memorable characters to root for, and the setting is painted vividly enough to seem like a character itself. Housing the remains of the once opulent homes of the ultra-wealthy, Cumberland Island is a place where magic, lore, meaning, and memories are layered into the river, woods, and pathways. In addition to beautiful nature writing, The Fabled Earth has so many of the elements I love in a book. These include the use of a character’s art and imagination to enhance the narrative. There are also secrets uncovered from the past, bringing transformation. The narrative moves smoothly between two timelines, connecting the events of the thirties and the fifties in a compelling way that makes you eager to read more. I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy of the book, and I highly recommend immersing yourself in the world of The Fabled Earth.

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This was a wonderfully done historical novel, it had a great overall feel going through this story and enjoyed the characters overall. Kimberly Brock has a great writing style and worked with what I was hoping for. I thought this was beautifully done and loved getting to know the history of this story.

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1932, entering the Gilded Age in southern Georgia. After a lively party, lives are lost. Then in 1959, a reclusive painter is visited by a man who saved her life. Another finds a photo from 1932 that opens up the mystery. Pay attention, the twists and turns took me for quite a ride.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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The Fabled Earth, by Kimberly Brock, is a luxuriant historical novel about Cumberland Island, Georgia, and the relationship between its residents and the landscape. The book moves seamlessly between 1932 and 1959 and explores how the stories we tell impact generations. The characters - including the landscape - are rendered beautifully. What an enchanting novel!

Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an eARC; all opinions are my own.

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Wow. Kimberly Brock has such a lyrical, beautiful voice - she created shimmering threads and wove them together into a gorgeous story. It reminds me of many things: ghost stories and The Great Gatsby, and fairy tales and epic Southern Fiction.

There are a lot of characters, and skips back and forth in time, but hang in with it - you'll be as entranced as I was!

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