Abridged Audiobook

Written By: Melinda Haynes

Narrated By: Leo Burmester

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Date: May 2001

Duration: 6 hours 20 minutes


From the acclaimed author of Mother of Pearl comes the story of Chalktown, an eerily quiet village in George County, Mississippi, where folks communicate with one another solely through chalkboards hanging from their front porches. Sixteen-year-old Hezekiah Sheehand lives down the road with his reckless sister, Arena, his mentally disabled younger brother, Yellababy, and their often cruel mother, Susan-Blair, whose husband has abandoned the family. The mystery of Chalktown calls to Hez, and one day he sets out with Yellababy strapped to his back, determined to divine the key to the chalk. Meanwhile, his family confronts a tragedy that just might pave an unexpected road toward a hopeful future.


  • M. Sargent

    I loved this author's Mother of Pearl. I could visualize & empathize with those characters. I missed them when the book was done. Not so much with Chalktown. I found it a little difficult to distinguish the characters and appreciate how they related to one another. On a positive note, I enjoyed how the story was both complex and simple at the same time.


    How many times can you say "Susan-Blair" on one page? Sure got sick of hearing it. The poor child Yellababy, my heart went out, but any understanding of him or his father eludes me still. I did not understand this book, did not like this book, cannot recommend this book.

  • Anonymous

    I think this book is a 3 or 4. Not quite as bad as the 3's I've listened to, but not quite a 4 either. I thought it was an interesting story. It moves back and forth in time, which can get confusing. I think some areas of the story could have been better explained and other parts added nothing to the story. However, when it all comes together at the end, it makes for an interesting story. I liked many of the characters in the book.

  • Angela Jones

    This is the first time in my life that I did not finish a book. I listened to 4 1/2 of the 6 disc's and just could not take it anymore. The book was long, mondaine and boring. I found myself drifting off and not able to pay attention.