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Gap Creek (1999)

by Robert Morgan

Series: Gap Creek (1)

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2,592493,961 (3.55)63
A novel on the harsh life in the Appalachian Mountains at the turn of the century. The heroine is Julie Harmon whose work load includes hauling water, butchering a hog, rendering lard, plucking a turkey, baking and preserving--all described in detail.
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» See also 63 mentions

English (48)  Japanese (1)  All languages (49)
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
Spoilers ahead

Gap Creek by Robert Morgan was also a free friday book and it was an Oprah Book of the Month book as well. Oprah, you did not pick a winner here. The story is about the first year of marriage between a young couple in 1900 South Carolina. It started out strong, with Julie being an unusually hard working and dedicated woman, and that doesn’t change. But at some point she totally stops standing up for herself. At one point of the story she gets conned and when her husband finds out he slaps her in the face and calls her a “stupid heifer” and what does she do? NOTHING!! If i was her i would slapped him right back and walked out the door. And the whole rest of the book her husband is temperamental and just about useless. Until the end when he kind of redeems himself (not really) when he takes care of Julie and their sick baby after Julie birthed the baby at home, by herself. And in the end they lose everything the worked for and wind up leaving their home. WTF. ( )
  artdamnit_reads | Jul 29, 2020 |
This was a hard book to read. It's the fictionalized story of the author's grandparents' first year of marriage and what a hardscrabble year it was. Like the old adage 'if it weren't for bad luck they would have no luck at all'. Fire, floods, bad mother-in-law, death of an infant; they had it all. I'm glad I finished they book but had I known I probably wouldn't have started it at all. Certainly not Little House on the Prairie. ( )
  book58lover | Jul 3, 2019 |
17 yr old Appalachian girl marries, accomodates to an imperfect husband. He learns to stand up for what is right, and deal with loss and hardship.
[read 2003-15 yr ago] ( )
  juniperSun | Jan 18, 2019 |
Robert Morgan writes about the life of a young woman in the late 1800's in the mountains of South Carolina. I was amazed at how well the male author portrayed the perspective of a young female. And what a strong young character was Julie. She along with her newlywed husband suffered through many hardships. Surprisingly, their marriage didn't end but ultimately became stronger as a result of their difficult life. If you like reading historical fiction and books about strong female characters, this is a book for you. ( )
  Rdglady | Nov 20, 2018 |
The cover claims this is an Oprah's Book Club selection--I can't say I cared much for her choice.

The story is mostly about Julie Harmon Richards, and most of it takes place after she married Hank Richards. I admire Julie's work ethic and her ability to push forward no matter what discouragements life put in her path. I think Hank really loves Julie, but he's not always much of a husband to her. Though I realize that this was set in a time when women didn't have all the opportunities they do today, I have to wonder if Julie really was better off with Hank or if she should have left him.

Hank barely works in this novel--he has a job when they first get to Gap Creek--but as we later learn, he loses it when he hits a boss. I'm never clear on whether he really was searching for work or if he just assumed no one would hire him. He does go out an hunt occasionally and works around the house and farm at time, but most times we hear that Julie is doing the work not Hank in the narrative. I do hope he helped her with planting etc. I do wonder if they will make it as a couple long-term.

Hank also likes to blame Julie and call her names. Though I do think he had a right to blame her when she gave away Pendergast's money to a (probably false) attorney, he did not have to call her a stupid heifer. It's almost justice when Hank is also tricked into giving away money (to someone claiming to be Pendergast's daughter). One would think they'd have learned from the first instance to ask for proof. In fact, by the third time someone comes around claiming to represent the heirs, I have to wonder if he really is an attorney--though since he comes with the pastor, we have to hope he truly is an attorney representing the heirs.

I wondered if Hank was true to Julie. It sort of seemed like the author hinted that Hank might have had relations with Carolyn when she visited them and neither admitted it to Julie.

It's a shame that they have to leave after doing all the work to plant crops and put up provisions. ( )
  JenniferRobb | Jul 8, 2018 |
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Robert Morgans Gap Creek is een adembenemende liefdesroman. Eenvoudig en teder verteld.
For my daughter Laurel
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I know about Masenier because I was there.
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A novel on the harsh life in the Appalachian Mountains at the turn of the century. The heroine is Julie Harmon whose work load includes hauling water, butchering a hog, rendering lard, plucking a turkey, baking and preserving--all described in detail.

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There is a most unusual woman living in Gap Creek. Julie Harmon works hard, "hard as a man" they say, so hard that at times she's not sure she can stop. People depend on her. She is just a teenager when her brother dies in her arms. The following year, she marries Hank and moves down into the valley. Julie and Hank discover that the modern world is complex, grinding ever on without pause or concern for their hard work. To survive, they must find out whether love can keep chaos and madness at by. (0-7432-0363-1)
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