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Gap Creek

A Novel

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

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.

From Publishers Weekly

Jan 04, 1999 – The ordinary folk of Appalachia are Morgan's subjects, and here he offers another compassionate tale of poor people enduring brutal working lives and harsh deprivations with stoic dignity. While not as memorable as The Truest Pleasure, this story of a North Carolina mountain girl who marries at 16 and with her new husband goes to live in Gap Valley, over the border in South Carolina, is a quiet tale told with simplicity and tenderness. Julia Harmon has become accustomed to sawing firewood, digging ditches and caring for the livestock on her family's farm while her father dies of consumption. When she marries Hank Richards and begins to keep house for their mean-tempered landlord in Gap Creek, she has no idea of the disasters that await during her first year of marriage. Daily life is hard enough for Julia--hauling and then boiling gallons of water to wash clothes, butchering a hog and rendering lard, and scrubbing, preserving and baking. But then a fire envelops the kitchen and fatally burns the landlord, a flood almost destroys the house and outbuildings and ruins all their provisions, and a cold snap kills off everything else. Julia is pregnant and Hank has lost his job, and both have been gulled by sharpies into giving up their tiny savings. Moreover, Julia realizes, Hank is immature, hot-tempered and burdened with a defeatist attitude. Morgan's skill in character delineation is evident in his descriptions of Julia's maturation as she learns to handle her husband's frightening moods and behavior. Most impressive is his description of childbirth, which Julia endures alone. Tragedy follows, but when the young couple seem to have lost everything, a grudging fate finally smiles on them. Morgan's familiarity with all the aspects of rural life, from grueling domestic tasks to labor in the fields and woods, sometimes tempts him into detailed descriptions that verge on the tedious. Yet the narrative immerses the reader in a time, early in this century, and place when five dollars was a fortune, home-made jam a lifesaving gift and the simple act of going to church a step toward survival. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Customer Reviews

Gap Creek

Outstanding book because it puts us in a different time, through Julie, a mere seventeen year old, but wise beyond her years! She went through great trials with a perseverance few people possess! I liked it and couldn't put it down.

My Favorite Book

This is a great book about life in the south.

Gap Creek
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Historical
  • Published: Aug 21, 2012
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books
  • Seller: Workman Publishing Co., Inc.
  • Print Length: 368 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings