The Settling Place, by Ann Rauscher Smith Hagler, is a novel set primarily in Erin, Tennessee, in 1921. Based on actual events in the lives of the author’s family, it is a story about how the smallest actions can have unfathomable ramifications.
“I was a child, but I remember my father coming home from town and telling us Mr. Rauscher had been killed. It was a terrible time for Mr. Rauscher’s family and for the town. It hurt the church, too.”
-Dixie Alsobrooks, age 104
E.W. Rauscher is the preeminent merchant of the small town of Erin. When an altercation at church calls E.W.’s character into question, he spends the last days of his life ruminating on the events that led him to this particular place and time.
The Settling Place is a rumination on family and the ways in which a life can play out over time and, yet, all at once.
Praise for The Settling Place
“Ann Hagler tells a local story, indeed a family story, with such detail and elegance that it becomes a rare historical document. An account of life in a remarkable small town in Tennessee in the early twentieth century, The Settling Place is also a murder mystery as well as a keen observation of the intricacies of family, church, and civic relations.
Hagler’s research is thorough-going and her descriptions enticing–if nothing else, do read the description of a Rauscher Sunday dinner on December 12, 1920 (Chapter Nineteen).”
-Susan Ford Wiltshire, author of Classical Nashville and Seasons of Grief and Grace
“This is a poignant story of a long forgotten tragedy that changed a prominent family, a small community, and an influential church when the unbelievable happens – a murder is committed on the street of the town. The author draws the reader in from page one to discover what fate awaits them all, and through God’s amazing grace can any of them survive?”
-Kay French, recently retired librarian of the Houston County Public Library in Erin, TN