The Road from Gap Creek
The Road from Gap Creek by Robert Morgan.
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: A Shannon Ravenel Book;(March 25, 2014)
One of America’s most acclaimed writers returns to the land on which he has staked a literary claim to paint an indelible portrait of a family in a time of unprecedented change. In a compelling weaving of fact and fiction, Robert Morgan introduces a family’s captivating story, set during World War II and the Great Depression. Driven by the uncertainties of the future, the family struggles to define itself against the vivid Appalachian landscape. The Road from Gap Creek explores modern American history through the lives of an ordinary family persevering through extraordinary times.
From the Inside Flap
“This is a story I seem to remember like it was yesterday . . . The day we moved to Green River, the road from Gap Creek was froze stiff as chalk. I wasn’t even five, but I remember that morning was cold. We got up in the dark and Papa built a big fire in the fireplace, burning up the things we didn’t need. All the stuff we had would fit in that one wagon, or it had to be left behind. I thought Velmer and my older sister, Effie, and me was going to ride on the wagon too, but Papa said there wasn’t no room. We’d have to walk.”
Strong-willed Annie Richards Powell, a preacher’s wife raised by hardscrabble dirt farmers, begins her story on the worst day in her family’s life: a day that arrived years after her family’s trip—by wagon and on foot—from Gap Creek, South Carolina, to Green River, North Carolina, and into the home where she would grow up with her siblings, Effie, Velmer, and, finally, Troy, the baby and golden boy. A resilient and clear-eyed narrator, she lets us watch as one-by-one the Richards children create their own histories, which include both triumphs and terrible losses in the face of the Great Depression and then World War II and its aftermath. Through the Richards family, Morgan explores modern American history as it played out in the Blue Ridge Mountains—a region cut off from mainstream life until World War II took those mountain boys to fight in far-off lands and changed their world forever. The rough-hewn beauty of the land and its people are visible on every page of The Road from Gap Creek—a tribute to an ordinary family persevering through extraordinary times. This is Robert Morgan at his finest.
The saga of the Richards family began in Robert Morgan’s 1999 novel Gap Creek, an Oprah Book Club Selection that attracted hundreds of thousands of readers to its beguiling tale of the first year and a half of Annie’s parents’ marriage at the turn of the twentieth century. Now, in a masterful weaving of fact and fiction, Morgan introduces a new generation looking ahead to the uncertainties of the future, the struggle to define oneself, and the rediscovery of enduring love.
So... I find out after I read this book that there is a book before this one. I checked it out on Amazon and decided this was ok as a "stand alone"
I guess when I found it at a thrift store and read where and when this story occurs I decided to give it a try. The where was in the Appalachian Mountains (where I had just visited) and many mountains and towns I knew of from my trip. The time was just before and during WWII. The family was very poor and yet I found it almost appealing. I was poor as a child and it was not fun, but looking back, before technology and many inventions, I am glad of the time when I was born.
This book is not a great adventure. It isn't a mystery. It's just the life of Annie Richards as a poor girl being raised in the country and the hardships and good things that happened to her.
Having just come from the area in which the book takes place I found myself compelled to read it.
We all have a life story. How it reads depends on when and where your life story is.
I can't say run out and read this book. But historically, regionally, and just plain growing up.. I found it a good read.