Imprint. Oprah Book Club selection.
Throughout the novel, Morgan chronicles Julie's trials in prose of great dignity and clarity, capturing the rhythms of North Carolina speech by using only the subtlest of inflections. Clearly the author has done his research too--the descriptions of physical labor practically leap off the page. (Suffice to say, you'll learn far more about hog slaughtering than you ever dreamed of knowing.) Yet he resists the temptation to make his long-suffering characters into saints. Julie simmers with resentment at being her family's workhorse, and Hank flies into a helpless rage whenever he feels that his authority is questioned. In novels like The Truest Pleasure and The Hinterlands, Morgan proved his ability to create memorable heroines. In Gap Creek, he writes with great feeling--but not a touch of sentimentality--about a life Julie aptly calls "both simple and hard." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Author Bio- Robert Morgan was born and raised in Green River, a small community in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. He studied at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and in 1968 he earned an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In 1971 Morgan began teaching at Cornell University where, since 1992, he has been the Kappa Alpha professor of English. Morgan's childhood memories include that of growing up in a small and isolated valley in the North Carolina Mountains are a fertile and constant inspiration for his fiction, which deals with such powerful and formative experiences as attending Pentecostal services, farming, marriage, and fighting disease. Since 1969, Morgan has published four books of fiction, including The Hinterlands (1994) and The Truest Pleasure (1995) named a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and a New York Times Notable. (bookbrowse.com)
Evaluation- I found the story of "Gap Creek" to be somewhat gory, but at the same time there was meaning and suspense to the story that kept the pages turning. This story is a very realistic way of life early in the 1900's when life was very frightening, and a lot tougher than it is living in today's world. The two main characters Hank and Julie fell in love and agreed to marry. They moved to Gap Creek where Hank got a job at a mill. Julie's job was to take care of Mr. Pendergast's house that he rented out to the couple.Read more ›
Also recommended: McCrae's Bark of the Dogwood
Julie is a hardworking woman who meets Hank and agrees to marry him. They moved to Gap Creek where Hank got a job in a mill. They rented a house with Mr. Pendergast where Julie's job is to take care of the house and their landlord. Through a series of unfortunate mishaps, Mr. Pendergast dies, Hank loses his job and Julie gets pregnant. Together, the naive couple struggle to survive the harsh winter ~~ where a huge flood destroyed most of their food crops that they had saved for winter ~~ and together, they find an inner strength they didn't know they had. They basically grew up, as most newlyweds do when they leave home for the first time.
It is a realistic look at life. Marriage is not about roses and sweet dreams coming true. It really is a marriage of two minds melding together in spite of obstacles placed in their ways. This is a marriage about survival. They needed one another to survive that first year. And together, they will beat the odds for as long as it takes.
I enjoyed it ~~ even the rather descriptive details about farm life and having to butcher your own animals for meals. However, that time wasn't too long ago that we haven't forgotten it. It's a rich look into life that once was and reminds us of how good we have it now.
This book is a total tragedy though. Read more