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Gap Creek
Gap Creek
Author: Robert Morgan
Amazon.com Review — Oprah Book Club? Selection, January 2000: Robert Morgan's Gap Creek opens with one wrenching death and ends with another. In between, this novel of turn-of-the-century Appalachian life works in fire, flood, swindlers, sickness, and starvation--a truly biblical assortment of plagues, all visited on the sturdy shoulders of 17-ye...  more »
ISBN-13: 9781565122420
ISBN-10: 1565122429
Publication Date: 1999
Pages: 326
Rating:
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 54

3.9 stars, based on 54 ratings
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Gap Creek on
Helpful Score: 11
Wow - this is one everyone should read just to understand how easy we have it today! This is a deeply moving novel, and although it is set in the depths of poverty and difficulty, it offers a glimmer of hope, as well. The characters are intensely drawn.
reviewed Gap Creek on + 164 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
i read this, because my mother in law loves Oprah, so whatever Oprah raves about, she buys and passes it on to me, for the most part these books do not float my boat, but this one sat in my night stand for a year, and i finally picked it up and tried it... i'm glad I did, as the story was gripping, not a light fun happy book, which is what I like in something I read before i fall asleep each night.. this is a great story of a time when things were hard, and life was full of challenges that required more strength than I would ever have! It was a good book that I found myself thinking about after I read it. I passed it on to my mom and she loved it.
reviewed Gap Creek on + 29 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
I loved this book! So different from most of today's fiction. The author notes at the end: "I tell my students that you do not write living fiction by attempting to transcribe actual events onto the page. You create a sense of real characters and a real story by putting down one vivid detail, one exact phrase, at a time. The fiction is imagined, but if it is done well, it seems absolutely true, as real as the world around us." I say he is a master, if this book is any indication.
reviewed Gap Creek on + 62 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Wonderful story of a young married couple. I actually had tears in my eyes at times. Also a rather quick read.
reviewed Gap Creek on + 113 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This is the second time I've read this book. There are parts and chapters that have stayed in my mind for a few years - it's that good and that memorable. Remarkable story-telling.
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reviewed Gap Creek on + 18 more book reviews
Enjoyed this very much & learned a lot of details about difficult farm work.
reviewed Gap Creek on + 8 more book reviews
Oprah Book Club® Selection, January 2000:
Summary/Editorial Review:

Robert Morgan's Gap Creek opens with one wrenching death and ends with another. In between, this novel of turn-of-the-century Appalachian life works in fire, flood, swindlers, sickness, and starvation--a truly biblical assortment of plagues, all visited on the sturdy shoulders of 17-year-old Julie Harmon. "Human life don't mean a thing in this world," she concludes. And who could blame her? "People could be born and they could suffer, and they could die, and it didn't mean a thing.... The world was exactly like it had been and would always be, going on about its business." For Julie, that business is hard physical labor. Fortunately, she's fully capable of working "like a man"--splitting and hauling wood, butchering hogs, rendering lard, planting crops, and taking care of the stock. Even when Julie meets and marries handsome young Hank Richards, there's no happily-ever-after in store. Nothing comes easy in Julie Harmon's world, and their first year together is no exception.
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."


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