Gap Creek

Gap Creek

A Novel

Book - 1999
Average Rating:
6
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A New York Times Bestseller & Oprah's Book Club Pick

Young Julie Harmon works "hard as a man," they say, so hard that at times she's not sure she can stop. People depend on her to slaughter the hogs and nurse the dying. People are weak, and there is so much to do. At just seventeen she marries and moves down into the valley of Gap Creek, where perhaps life will be better.

But Julie and Hank's new life in the valley, in the last years of the nineteenth century, is more complicated than the couple ever imagined. Sometimes it's hard to tell what to fear most--the fires and floods or the flesh-and-blood grifters, drunks, and busybodies who insinuate themselves into their new life. To survive, they must find out whether love can keep chaos and madness at bay. Their struggles with nature, with work, with the changing century, and with the disappointments and triumphs of their union make Gap Creek a timeless story of a marriage.

Publisher: Chapel Hill, N.C. : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 1999.
ISBN: 9781565122963
9781565122420
1565122429
9780743225359
074322535X
Characteristics: 326 p. ;,22 cm.

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CMLibrary_vchapman Dec 19, 2015

I really enjoyed reading this book. Had this book not been recommended for our book club I would have never had the chance to visit Gap Creek. I can't wait to read the sequel....The Road from Gap Creek!

r
rbeckbro
Feb 21, 2014

Don't get me wrong: I love books about kings and queens, international intrigue, age-old conspiracies, and universe-altering choices. But once in a while, I find myself needing to step back from the drama and pick up a story about ordinary people. Hank and Julie are two such people --- young newlyweds in the Appalachians near the turn of the century, struggling to get by in an unforgiving world of disease, death, hunger, flood, fire, greed, poverty, and prejudice. Julie's voice is vivid and relatable, and the story kept me glued to my seat. As other reviewers have noted, it's not a book to read if you're already feeling melancholy. But if you're in a mellow mood and want a story that will sink into your soul to stay, "Gap Creek" is the book to choose.

m
MSchieck1
Sep 19, 2012

Terribly depressing book that stretches the limits of credibility. Not worth reading

g
GLNovak
Sep 26, 2011

This story is the most tragic I have read in a long time. If it is not one thing it is another. The couple are beset with more disaster than I would wish on an enemy and yet they survive. It is truly the story of a marriange.

Set in Appalachia, the story follows the couple's life for one year as they move down from their mountain to Gap Creek where they hope to make their life together. After all that befalls them, some of it of their own making, they seem to be stronger in their commitment to each other.

I can see why Oprah picked this for her club. The writing is from the wife's perspective and is in the voice of a trusting, capable, accepting woman with little education but a lot of heart.

d
Darrelln
Feb 28, 2010

such a good book. Women overcoming adversity and a lazy husband.

j
jennturner
Jul 20, 2009

What was Oprah thinking? I don't often agree with her choices but this one has to be the worst!

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