Friday, August 15, 2008

Gap Creek

Gap Creek : The Story Of A Marriage (Oprah's Book Club) Gap Creek : The Story Of A Marriage by Robert Morgan

rating: 2 of 5 stars

I picked up a nice copy of this book from my library book sale for 10 cents awhile back. I decided to read it this week as my final book for the Southern Reading Challenge because it won the Southern Book Critic Circle Award.

However, it is also an Oprah book. Next time I pick up an Oprah book, somebody please just slap me. This book is more depressing than a sunless day in January. How depressing? Read on...


Set in 1899, the book opens with 17-year old protagonist Julie Harmon describing the gruesome death of her younger brother. That's followed with the death of her father. Then she marries Hank, whom she has known for all of a few days. They move down from the mountains of North Carolina to the Appalachian valley over the border in South Carolina. Julie takes care of a nasty old widower in exchange for free rent while Hank works in town making bricks.

We get a lot of detail into their tough and rugged lives, including an in-depth look into the slaughtering of a hog. Julie burns down the kitchen, the widower dies, they are swindled out of every dime they own, Hank smacks Julie around and loses his job, they loose what little they have left in a flood, Julie gives birth to a premature baby that subsequently dies, and then they get tossed out of the house.

And that's the end.

I'm only giving it two stars instead of one because it was well-written and I liked this passage:
The good Lord made the world so we could earn our joy, Ma said. But it's no guarantee we'll ever be happy.
I know that life can be difficult and even brutal. I just would have appreciated a little more sunshine in this book.

1 comment:

Anna said...

I read this book several years ago. I picked it up at a church bazaar. I remember it being depressing, but I liked it. It's definitely not light reading.

--Anna (Diary of an Eccentric)