My (English-professor) mother Anna Elaine Galstad Thompson Case, who recently passed away, was the person who originally turned me onto the novel, and I must say that it affected me more deeply than just about anything I've ever read in my life. One could argue that, together with "Huckleberry Finn" and "Moby Dick", it is truly perhaps one of the great American novels of all time. (The last time I drove home to northwest Arkansas from Washington, DC, I stopped off in southeast Tennessee, and drove over Smoky Mountain National Park to spend a day exploring the area around Cold Mountain in northwestern North Carolina--a trip I highly recommend.) Wish I'd written the novel myself; my great-greatgranddad (C.S.A. cavalry) Capt. Gould B. Thompson underwent an almost identical experience in the summer of 1863, trying to make his way home across no-man's-land to the Ozarks after the fall of Vicksburg--his story had a HAPPY ending. Fans of the novel have likely seen the film by now; although I would've cast it differently and OF COURSE filmed it around Cold Mountain in North Carolina instead of in Romania's Transylvanian Alps, it's nonetheless a very good film. As for the soundtrack, the two songs by Alison Krauss are superb, and I personally find the raw spiritual energy of the two songs by the Liberty Church Sacred Harp Singers (Henegar, Alabama, in AL's northeast hill country) mesmerizing. The unvarnished folksy "honesty" of the "Like a Songbird That Has Fallen" and the piano work by Gabriel Yared are very compelling and worthwhile, and the bread-and-butter remainder of the album by Jack White, Stuart Duncan, Norman & Nancy Blake, and Dirk Powell is very good. If you liked the novel and liked the film, you MUST buy this CD while it's available (soundtracks are usually in the record stores about a couple of months, according to my experience). If you like it a LOT, you should go out and IMMEDIATELY buy the soundtrack to "O Brother, Where Art Thou?", too--if you haven't already.